2.11.16: 2 Golf courses to open under bankruptcy protection
GRAND RAPIDS, MI (Mlive) – Two West Michigan golf courses will open this spring despite a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition filed by their ownership group this week, their general partner said on Wednesday, Feb. 10.
Wallinwood Springs Golf Club of Jenison and Lake Doster Golf Club of Plainwell will open under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while they seek new financing, according to B. Todd Hartson, general partner for L.D.L.P Limited Partnership.
Although the two courses had their best seasons in a long time in 2015, Hartson said their bankers called in their loans.
The partnership owes First Community Bank more than $880,000, according to the Feb. 8 filing in U.S. District Bankruptcy Court. The partnership also owes more than $50,000 in back taxes to local, state and federal agencies, according to the filing.
The golf industry in West Michigan has been in turmoil in recent years as several courses have closed and redeveloped for housing or agriculture.
In 2015, Braeside Golf Course near Rockford was closed after its bankers took possession of the 116-acre course in bankruptcy court. The bank began marketing the property as a potential housing development after its operators failed to open last spring.
In 2014, the Meijer Foundation closed the 18-hole Grand Rapids Golf Club at 4100 Leonard St. NW and transferred the property to Frederik Meijer Gardens after plans to locate the Southeast YMCA on the property was rejected by the Grand Rapids Township Planning Commission.
In 2013, the Brigadoon Golf Course, a Newaygo County course once considered one of West Michigan’s most challenging public golf courses, was sold in an online auction after failing to re-open.
Also in 2013, the 180-acre Riverbend Golf Course near Hastings was sold and converted to farmland by Larry Haywood, an area dairy farmer whose family sold the land to the original golf course developer in 1963.