According to news reports that I confirmed this morning, Humber Valley Resort, with its terrific Doug Carrick-designed golf course, will go into bankruptcy after being unable to secure a working arrangement with a major hotel or government support.
I wonder if the course and resort is a victim of timing. It was only two years ago that it held a first ministers meeting, and the likes of Ralph Klein took to the fairways. Newfoundland Premier Danny Williams asked me about it last year when I was interviewing him for my Going for the Green book, and said he felt the government would have to step in if the resort faltered. Humber Valley was “world class,” he said and it would make the province look poorly if it failed. Perhaps the current economic downturn — and the falling price of oil — changed the premier’s mind.
Regardless, this is a loss for Canadian golf. The course is arguably the best thing Carrick has done — and received numerous accolades from American and Canadian media alike. Its 10th hole — with a remarkable plunging tee shot — was surely among the most breathtaking in all of Canada. My review of the course is here.
Could Humber Valley become one of Canada’s most fabled NLE (no longer exists, for those architecture aficianados)? That’s a possibility if no one is willing to take the course and resort out of bankruptcy. Letting the course sit unattended next year would likely mean it would need hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs, making one wonder whether a buyer could be found. Perhaps the bankruptcy trustee will see fit to maintain a skeleton crew to maintain the course — but that’s far from certain.