I’ve been on holiday for a week (thus the lack of posts), but this story caught my eye just before Christmas. Turns out that Bear Mountain, the course in Victoria that is in receivership, is seeking to close nine holes of its 36-hole Jack Nicklaus designed courses. Both courses rank in SCOREGolf’s Top 100, making it the first time a Top 100 course could close, though I hear there’s rumours that if a buyer isn’t found for Dundarave in PEI, it could close as well.
Turns out some of the residents of Bear Mountain aren’t thrilled about the possibility it could close nine holes (source: Times Colonist):
The Bear Mountain Community Association this week launched an awareness campaign including a petition, door-to-door meetings and letter writing to members of the City of Langford’s planning committee as it tries to slow down the resort’s plans.
“We have put together the BMCA to try and fight the rezoning application,” said Brian Dunne, one of the organizers. “If we can stop the rezoning, at least temporarily, then possibly they will be forced to move in another direction. Maybe they will have to put it on the market and sell it, and hopefully someone else will come in with a different view that this golf course is worth saving.”
The plane is to cut back on the number of condos and cuts costs by eliminating part of one of the courses:
The plan slashes an earlier development concept from more than 3,000 total units to fewer than 2,000, and its two 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses will be cut down to 27 holes.
The plan calls for new detached homes — a proposed 435 compared to the 185 conceived of in 2006 — and trims the number of possible condos to 1,281 in five neighbourhoods.
There are also plans for an eight-kilometre walking and biking trail, more parkland and access to land previously accessible only to golfers.
Bear Mountain Holdings proposes to use half of one of its golf courses for some of those new homes, and in turn it expects to solve the money-losing proposition of running 36-holes when demand is waning.
Problem is there doesn’t seem to be much reasoning for keeping both courses, at least from those talking about a lawsuit:
Louis Barbeau, one of the golf course’s original members, said he agrees with Bear Mountain Land Holdings’ assertion there wasn’t enough demand to warrant a second golf course, but the Bear Mountain resident said there has to be a better option than cutting away nine holes.
“Once they [develop on the course], there’s no turning back,” he said, noting not only will Langford lose its only 18-hole golf course — the other Bear Mountain course is in Highlands — the Bear Mountain golf brand will lose its lustre and people who have invested in homes in the area could face reduced property values.
I bet that nine holes at Bear Mountain go this year — and we lose at least 18 in PEI.