(Photo by Gillis Benedict/Livingston Daily)
The Bruce Matthews-designed course in Brighton, Mich. is part of a larger ski and snowboard resort property run by the Colorado-based company. Vail Resorts announced that when the resort reopens for operations, the club will continue to operate as a venue for private special events, including weddings and corporate functions, but golf course equipment will be auctioned off. The company said it did not have any major plans for future development of the course and that its closing was not pandemic-related, but part of a decision to focus on the property’s winter season.
Vail Resorts will not reopen The Golf Club at Mt. Brighton in Brighton, Mich., the Livingston Daily of Howell, Mich. reported.
The Colorado-based resort company, which also owns the ski and snowboard area near Brighton, announced that the golf course’s closure will be permanent, Livingston Daily reported.
Earlier this year, the company temporarily closed all of its ski resorts in the U.S. and Canada due to COVID-19, and Mt. Brighton never opened its 18-hole golf course for the season. But on July 20, Mt. Brighton spokesperson Heidi Swartzloff said “The permanent closure of the golf course wasn’t due to the impact of COVID-19,” Livingston Daily reported.
“While the golf course is closing, Mt. Brighton will continue to operate during the summer as a venue for private special events, including weddings and corporate functions, when the resort reopens for operations,” the company announced on the club’s website, Livingston Daily reported.
Golf course equipment from the club will be auctioned off, Livingston Daily reported, but details of the auction had not yet been announced.
Swartzloff said company officials have been considering closing the course for at least a couple of years, Livingston Daily reported. “Ultimately, it was a business decision we made to focus on our winter ski season,” she said.
Cost savings from the closure will help fund future improvements to things like the ski and snowboard terrain and snowmaking equipment, and potentially allow Mt. Brighton to open for the winter ski season earlier than normal next year, Swartzloff added.
“The biggest asset we provide to the community is what we bring in the winter months, and this is giving us an opportunity to really focus in on that part of the business,” she said.
Swartzloff said she is not aware of any plans to close any other golf courses Vail Resorts owns, Livingston Daily reported. “This decision was specific to Mt. Brighton,” she said.
Mt. Brighton first opened in 1960, Livingston Daily reported, and its Bruce Matthews-designed golf course, previously known as The Jackal Club at Mt. Brighton, was built in 2001. Vail Resorts purchased the property in 2012 and has invested more than $10 million on upgrades to the slopes, main lodge, restaurant and snowmaking equipment.
It has five chair lifts, seven surface lifts and 25 trails on about 130 acres.
Several features added to Mt. Brighton in recent years include a snowboard training area for children ages 3 to 7, two new mogul fields off the side of the black diamond trail Challenge and into the intermediate trail Sunrise Bowl, and new terrain park obstacles.
New rails and boxes for skiers and snowboards to maneuver were added in the 2018-19 winter season. Mt. Brighton acquired them from fellow Vail Resorts-owned ski resort Park City Mountain Resort in Park City, Utah.
Swartzloff said she expects to announce improvements to the ski and snowboard area sometime in the future.
“At this time, we don’t have any major plans to announce for future development” of the golf course, she said.