In addition to the golf course, the military seeks an entity to manage the clubhouse and mansion-turned-venue at the Mississippi River property.
As the Rock Island Arsenal—located on the Mississippi River between the cities of Davenport, Iowa and Rock Island, Ill.—continues to pursue a partnership with the private sector to manage its golf course, clubhouse and historic mansion-turned-venue, the military base’s top commander says he’s “optimistic” a deal will be struck by summertime, the Quad City Times reported.
Col. Stephen Marr, who took command of the arsenal in June, said the plan to partner with a business that will manage all three properties is on schedule. A handful of businesses have expressed an interest so far, Marr said, and the arsenal recently hosted people to showcase the island, the Times reported. “We’re getting a lot closer” to getting an arrangement done, Marr said.
“Little bit of red tape and bureaucracy that we’re working our way through, but that comes with everything we do and so I don’t see any major roadblocks or hiccups there on that front,” Marr told the Times.
“It’s a lengthy process and there can be delays, and we’re working to accelerate it as much as we can,” he added. “[I’m] very confident by next summer that the ink on the paper will be dry, and we’ll have a private commercial partner that we’re working closely with to again preserve the unique aspects here on the island.”
Marr’s remarks come months after a study was commissioned to assess the feasibility of getting a private partner to manage the property, the Times reported. And the Army has already given the go-ahead for the concept. So far, a “pre-notice” has been put out for potential contractors who might be interested, and a more formal solicitation is supposed to come after that.
Marr also said that the properties, which are longstanding fixtures of the island with historic significance, are a draw that brings people from around the Quad Cities region to visit. The arsenal wants to continue to be a part of the community, Marr added, and is working to be highly accessible to visitors, the Times reported.
The golf course is the oldest in the region, dating back roughly 120 years, and the clubhouse is about the same age. Quarters One, which served as the home of the arsenal’s top commander up until 2008, is now primarily used as a venue for weddings and private parties, the Times reported.
Many of the details have yet to be worked out over what new management will look like, the Times reported. But whoever takes over the properties will likely have to invest big to get some of the structures up to code. Quarters One, for example, needs millions of dollars in upgrades.
If the arsenal is indeed able to find a private manager, it won’t be the first time a private company ran the golf course, the Times reported. In 2009, the arsenal signed an agreement with a Washington, D.C.-based firm to run the golf course, an arrangement that lasted less than two years. Afterward, the Army took back control of the course and made it public.
C&RB’s previous coverage of this story has included these articles: https://clubandresortbusiness.com/rounds-decrease-puts-arsenal-island-gc-peril/and