Tobiano sale, Bebis selling alcohol and Coppinwoods' changes


Tobiano’s Opener: The ambitious resort is in receivership, but may have a new owner.

Tobiano, the award-winning course near Kamloops, is nearing a sale, according to a report.

The course has been in receivership for a couple of years, after developer Mike Grenier lost control of it while trying to build a marina for the ambitious golf and real estate play. Then came news late last year the marina was going forward and the course had been separated from the real estate, and was for sale for $5.5-million.

The Kamloops Daily News is now reporting there’s an offer on the table:

Business Development Bank of Canada has received an offer for the Tobiano Golf Course, a resort manager said Tuesday.

Quentin Granger, who manages Tobiano on behalf of receiver BMO, said a Vancouver group headed by a wealthy buyer has expressed interest in purchasing the golf course.

The golf course itself was listed on MLS last year for a price tag of $5.5 million.

Business Development Bank of Canada went to court in 2012 to gain the ability to market the course separately from the overall resort.

The Crown corporation is owed $5 million by former developer Mike Grenier and had guarantees on the golf course lands. Both the golf course and resort are in receivership.

I’d guess there’s no way they’ll get $5.5-million for the property. As for the buyer of a golf-only project like Tobiano? Now that’s an interesting question. A “Vancouver group,” could be anything, but one has to wonder if Pacific Links, which is owned by Du Sha, a Chinese businessman with Vancouver connections, might be interested. Otherwise it would be tough to make a golf operation that does less than 18,000 rounds a year profitable.


Golf Town founder Stephen Bebis has had a rocky time since being pushed out of the company he created. He joined Brookstone, a specialty retailer, a year ago, but it was recently announced that he’d departed amidst disappointing sales.  It was then announced that Bebis was taking over Liquor Stores, a Edmonton-based company with stores throughout the west, as well as in a couple of U.S. states. Seems like Bebis is willing to pursue a variety of retailing angles in his post-Golf Town career.


Also interesting to see Thom Charters, the former Bayview superintendent who left to join Coppinwood, the noted Uxbridge private course, has departed. In my experience Charters had Coppinwood in exceptional condition, but there’s been a change of ownership at the club, with former owner Paul McLean and Gerard Waslen (who also owns the Markham Golf Dome and Timber Ridge near Brighton) taking over. Officially Scott Pratt was the club’s superintendent, with Charters coming on as director of golf course operations (at least according to the club’s website, which hasn’t been updated to remove Charters).

Pratt remains the super, with Sean DeSilva, the former superintendent and GM of Cedarbrae, coming back to replace Charters, which strikes me as an interesting move.

Maybe it is a case of costs, noting former head professional Dennis Firth departed last year for Mississaugua G&CC.  Kevin Thistle remains Coppinwoods’ president.

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Jeff Lancaster

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Charters never got the course back to the level it was in under Sean DaSilva. Interesting that you infer something is amiss by alluding to a “cost” issue but fail to mention that DaSilva is returning to the club as Director of Golf Course Operations. Given that DaSilva is leaving his GM post at Cedarbrae to return to Coppinwood the more likely scenario is a simple case of the new/old group wanting to bring in their own people. No different than the new GM of a hockey team bringing in his own guys to coach, scout etc.

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