Gateway Sun

The Board of Governors of the Gateway Golf & Country Club have determined that the club’s constantly declining membership levels have reached a point where revenues are no longer sufficient to operate the club, therefore the board has decided to put the GG&CC up for sale.

The Gateway Sun has learned that Tampa-based brokerage firm Marcus and Millichap will be guiding GG&CC through the sale process.

The following is part of an email that was sent from the club’s leadership to all of its members.

As of July 1, 2017, our situation is as follows:

- Our FME membership count remains stagnant at a current 268.5 not including Summer Members. As of June 30, membership downgrades and/or resignations will result in the loss of 28.4 FME’s, effective Dec. 31, 2017.

- Over the next 5 years, our various Club Departments and Committees have identified significant capital needs, including greens replacement, irrigation system replacement, bunker repairs and cart path repair/replacement, and tennis facility improvements.

Based on the above, the Board of Governors initiated steps to evaluate the best long term solution for sustaining the Club and has concluded that it is in the best interest of the equity shareholders of the Club and for all of the Club’s memberships to sell the Club to an experienced third party investor/buyer.

The club will be hosting an information session to explain all of this to its members on July 24.

On November 9, 2015 we published an article titled 2014 report: Gateway Golf & Country Club on “downward death spiral”. In that article we shared that GG&CC had 644 members in 2005, which means that the club has since lost nearly two-thirds of their paying members in a little over a decade.

In that same article we also reported that GG&CC hired ClubSpecialists International to evaluate the club’s prospects in late 2013. CSI recommended back then that the Board of Governors give up on trying to manage the club themselves, and in fact to sell the club to a professional management firm.

The board dismissed CSI’s suggestion and continued to operate the club.

National Golf & Resort Properties Group valued the GG&CC between $4.1M to $4.4M in 2014.

No sale price has been established yet by the Board of Governors.

break-line

“As always I appreciate what you do to bring the Gateway residents up to speed on what is going on in the neighborhood, although the article on the Country Club is not accurate. Thanks again.” – Gateway Golf & County Club, Nov 10, 2015.

You were saying?

Look, I’m obviously not surprised at all by these events. And if you want to know the details of what happened to the GG&CC, read our 2015 article which can be found right here. Nothing has changed since that article.

So what will happen to the club in the future?

One source who is familiar with the GG&CC told me yesterday that the current members will obviously be encouraged to stay, and that a new ownership group will likely come in, make some serious improvements, replace the entire staff, and go on a membership drive.

So this actually could be a good thing for the club if it all works out.

However … according to the source: “If new members cannot be attracted in sufficient numbers then ultimately the club will become semi-private. That means you can probably play golf there for a daily fee or maybe even eat in the dining room and pay with a credit card.”

We were also told that just before a lot of the snowbirds went back home two months ago, they were assured that the club was doing just fine.

This is just my own opinion but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if new owners came in decided to make the GG&CC a public golf course. That certainly won’t help property values in Gateway Greens, but it won’t be the end of the world either.

We’ll see what happens.

About Jeff Kuntz

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Editor of the Gateway Sun and owner of restaurant delivery service Florida Food Runner.

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