At least a dozen potential investors have come forward to bid on the Pemberton Valley Golf Course, after the Royal Bank appointed Wolridge Mahon Limited as the official receiver on Jan. 7.
Wolridge Mahon’s job is to find a buyer for the 18-hole course and clubhouse, which was taken over by the bank last summer when the managing society resigned due to outstanding debt. Royal Bank kept the course open to its usual closing date, and paid staff to conduct maintenance before the winter.
Since the closure, the bank has been working with the Village of Pemberton to get the paperwork together for the sale, ensuring a lasting tenure for the new owners.
Dave Callum, head pro for the course, said he believes that the receivers will complete the sale within a matter of weeks.
“I’ve showed (the course) to a few people already, but most of the groups that are interested have already been here and know the facility,” said Callum. “There’s definitely a lot of buzz, and a little press has helped a bit to get the interest up. Right now I’d say we have about a dozen interested parties. Whoever bids the most will probably get it in about two weeks from now.”
According to Callum, a few bids are local and there are a few from the Lower Mainland. Rumour has it that a group of NHL players are also looking at purchasing the course.
Once the sale is complete, the golf club’s next challenge will be to find staff for the upcoming season.
“The sooner the (sale is completed) the better for us, to at least get the wheels turning here,” he said. “A lot of staff have taken jobs at other places because they didn’t know what the future would hold, so we’re already hard-pressed to open the first of April as usual. But we can do it with a new owner in February, and by having maintenance back in March to blow snow off the greens and do that kind of prep work.”
Despite the fact that the club will be privately owned, rather than run by a society, Callum believes that prices will continue to be the same.
“I think everybody is pretty relieved to know they’ll have a place to play in the spring, and I know for a lot of locals it’s the only affordable option,” he said. “I’ve talked to a couple of groups interested about that and they want to keep it the same. One group even talked about putting the green fees down, and making it a fun place to be — just pack it, and make money on volume. Everybody wants to keep the course affordable, which is great news.”
All parties interested in purchasing or investing in the course should contact Jonathan McNair or Michael Cheevers of Wolridge Mahon at 604-682-6212.