The Refuge Golf and Country Club has apparently closed its doors — and a sale to the nearby property owners could be pending.
Access to the gated facility on Thursday was not available and a News Herald reporter was told by an employee over the intercom that the club and course was closed. No one was available at the club to provide more information.
According to a newsletter sent out on Aug. 11 by the Refuge Property Owner Association to homeowners, the organization has been involved in 14 1/2 months of negotiations with Information Solutions, the owner of the golf and country club, to take over ownership.
The Refuge POA has a golf course advisory committee that inspected the infrastructure of the golf course and country club in May 2020. As a result of the inspection the committee recommended over $7.8 million repairs and restorations to the course.
After the committee inspected the course they wrote a 155 page report that laid out the capital requirements needed to address deficiencies and neglect due to an alleged lack of upkeep over the past few years.
“The 2020 report envisions returning the condition of the golf course infrastructure to its original, developer design and condition at a projected cost of $7,854,150, which includes replacement of the event tent with a permanent structure,” the newsletter read.
The newsletter said that on Aug. 4 the two parties had reached a tentative deal to acquire the golf course and country club assets, but two days later the POA was informed by Information Solutions that The Golf and Country Club would no longer be able to be financially viable operation and that the clubhouse restaurant would soon be permanently closed.
The newsletter also says that Information Solution told the POA that the golf course will remain open with limited staffing and over-seeding will not be happening in the near future.
Information Solution also requested the POA pay $350,000 to help a cash shortage.
“The Association has been asked to cover the $350,000 in operating expenses, including providing oversight as needed until a transaction can be consummated,” the newsletter read. “This request is unacceptable to the Association.”
Information Solutions purchased The Golf and Country Club in 2017 from Jerry and Cindy Aldridge who stayed on as the chief operating officer and treasurer until 2019. Don Clark was named Vice President and Treasurer of The Refuge and began overseeing club operations at the time, while Ed Little took over as Vice President of Golf Operations.
The Cooptation Commission lists the board of directors for Information Solution as Glen Nudelman, Don Clark, Lloyd Hightower, Ray Paci and Edward Little.