Tobiano sold to group that includes original owner

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

The word is that a deal for Tobiano, the award-winning course near Kamloops that went into receivership more than two years ago, is now in place:

“There is an offer on the table,” said Gary Haukeland, senior vice-president and managing broker for NAI Commercial Real Estate Services.

“It hasn’t been finalized. We anticipate it will be by the end of the month.”

The same story says the new owner may be acquiring the remainder of the property as well.

So who is the new owner? Sources tell me that former owner Mike Grenier is involved. It was Grenier who created the real estate development and course, which ranked 10th in Canada in the last SCOREGolf Top 100 courses in Canada issue. He’s an interesting guy and the last time I was at Tobiano — on a tour prior to the 2011 RBC Canadian Open — Grenier was still about even though he’d lost control of the course.

Anyway, I emailed Grenier about it and received this response: “I’m just not at liberty to discuss Tobiano today Robert,” he wrote.

It’ll be interesting to see the next chapter in the history of a course that has been celebrated, but struggled financially. What’s the old saying about the second owner of a golf course?

Note: Late tonight this press release came through confirming Tobiano’s sale and Grenier’s involvement:

Michael Grenier is pleased to report that Tobiano, one of Canada’s most celebrated and scenic golf courses has been acquired by NA (Tobiano) Management Ltd., the primary principals of which are John Preston of Palm Beach, Florida and Henry Bereznicki of Edmonton, Alberta.

Working in conjunction with Tobiano founder Michael Grenier, Preston and Bereznicki acquired the creditor interest from Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and removed the course from Receivership proceedings.

Said Michael Grenier, “John and Henry have capitalized on the unique opportunity to acquire a Top 10 Canadian golf course and they understand the strategic value of acquiring the cornerstone resort amenity. Our mission – deliver extraordinary golf expected of a national “must play” course and make Tobiano, British Columbia’s chosen track to share with business acquaintances and friends”.

John Preston stated, “We are delighted to work with Mike and advance his vision for a first class resort course. We share his passion for excellence and want to build upon the storied legacy Tobiano enjoys.”

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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