Golf Community Shakeout: Nobody is Immune

Palm Coast courses have change owners, managers, or membership strategies. Icons like Reynolds Plantation and Cliffs Communities seek elusive solutions while facing receivership or bankruptcy.

Palm Coast, FL – January 26, 2012 – Golf clubs everywhere are battling to survive the Great Recession with mixed results. The recession’s unprecedented depth and duration has tested the financial staying power of club owners, operators and members alike. Club revenues declined as discretionary income evaporated and demographics changed.

A half decade of retirees, stuck in place by the housing crisis and with shrunken wealth, was unable to follow the path of their recent predecessors. Five years older now, with their eyes opened wide and their wallets tightly clenched, they are unlikely to return to that path. They no longer represent pent up demand. They are lost from the affluent retiree market. For most retirees, the first five years of retirement represents 25% of the rest of their lives; that period in which they are most likely to be healthy and active.
The Great Recession exposed the seamy side of the residential development golf course model. Members have seen how easily "refundable deposits" can disappear. They’ve seen once private courses opened to outside play and exclusive memberships watered down by non-residents and non-property owners. They’ve watched maintenance and service levels decline. In some cases, lush golf courses have become grassland. They’ve learned that mandatory club memberships can be a financial and legal minefield that detonates their retirement plans.
Developers have learned too. Using membership deposits and dues to fund development of amenity-centric residential communities is likened to a ponzi scheme. It only works as long as sales are robust and prices continue to rise. There is no viable strategy for stagnation or a downturn; no plan B.
The golf industry is repositioning itself to the new reality. Some courses have seen the worst and are adapting to the changed world. Others have yet to find a solution. Palm Coast’s ten golf facilities collectively lost 71% of their assessed value in three years. Yet all but Matanzas are still in operation.
Grand Haven
This private non-equity Jack Nicklaus signature course anchors the Grand Haven residential community planned for 1,901 residential units. Grand Haven is mostly built out and relatively mature. Developer LandMar Group and its parent, Charlotte-based Crescent Resources, were forced into bankruptcy by the recession. The leaner Crescent Resources that emerged from Chapter 11 has been disposing of many of its Florida assets. The Grand Haven Golf Club was among them.
Grand Haven was purchased in December 2011 by Escalante Golf, a Texas-based course owner and operator. The real estate component of the deal was reported to be $1,500,000. The course was assessed for $6,650,000 in 2008. With a low entry price and stable and committed membership, Escalante should do well.
But the sales process was not an easy one. Over a two-year period, several different buyers signed letters of intent or purchase offers that did not survive the due diligence period. Unfunded "refundable" membership deposits represented a substantial contingent liability. Attention was also drawn to the shenanigans of the developer, who foisted the land for the clubhouse parking lot onto the Community Development District (all property owners, including non-members). The club has free usage in perpetuity. The CDD pays the taxes.
The Grand Club
Consisting of Cypress, Pines, and Matanzas courses, the three-course Grand Club was also owned by Crescent Resources. The club was purchased in November 2011 by Golf Group of Palm Coast LLC for $2,000,000. The three courses were assessed in 2008 for a combined $10,690,000. The new owners are already beginning to talk about the possibility of reopening Matanzas.
Grand Reserve
This privately-owned public course in Bunnell was foreclosed, along with adjacent residential lots. The course is now owned by CRM Florida Properties LLC. The course continues to operate under a management contract. The golf course property was assessed in 2008 for $3,680,000.
Palm Harbor
Once one of the "four sisters," along with Cypress, Pines, and Matanzas, the Palm Harbor golf course was deeded to the City of Palm Coast when then owner Centex departed the local market. The city spent a reported $5 million to refurbish the course. It is operating well under the management of Kemper Golf; albeit at a deficit to the city.
Hammock Beach
The Nicklaus-designed Ocean Course and the Tom Watson-designed Conservatory Course have been maintained throughout the recession. However the Hammock Beach Club still has obstacles to overcome. The recent change in management is viewed as a plus. Original developer, Bobby Ginn was pushed aside by financial partner Lubert-Adler. Club operations were first given over to a subsidiary of Reynolds Plantation. That management team created Front Door Communities when Reynolds met its own financial Waterloo. Front Door was recently replaced by Salamander Hotels & Resorts, who also became an equity partner with Lubert-Adler. Salamander successfully turned around the Innisbrook Resort, near Tampa. It also operates Reunion Resort, in Orlando, for Lubert-Adler.
Both local courses are operated as a membership club. Members share the facility with plenty of resort play. The Oceanside residential and resort components are beginning to thrive, but the uncertain future of residential development at the Conservatory remains. The Watson course is surrounded by 340 lots. There are only five homes constructed; four were builder sales models. Salamander’s challenge is to reposition the community to a lower price point residential product. But they will have to restructure the club offerings to match the financial realities of less affluent homeowners.
Hammock Dunes
Hammock Dunes, with a Tom Fazio-designed Links course and Rees Jones-designed Creek Course has been the only truly private facility in Palm Coast. With sound financials, they still faced challenges of an aging demographic and a $90,000 equity fee to join. Although it is a member-owned club, the original developer still held control of several memberships. The club was recently successful in purchasing those memberships and securing the developer rights at the club.
Hammock Dunes Club recently unveiled a new plan, offering non-equity memberships at a lower price point. The option is first available to Hammock Dunes non-member property owners. In the spring, it is planned to be offered to non-property owners and non-residents.
A timely article in today’s New Journal announced a management change at the LPGA International courses in Daytona Beach. Consolidated Tomoka, who markets the developable land that surrounds LPGA’s two courses, leases the courses from the city. Tomoka reports that the course lost nearly $2 million in 2010.
Golf Icons Too
Reynolds Plantation, the weekend getaway and retirement destination for the Atlanta area, is in receivership. Residents rightfully turned an opportunity to bail out the developer by buying the assets at a huge premium. Now, Reynolds Plantation is in receivership, at the mercy of the lender. A negotiated purchase by club members has remained an elusive goal. A January 24th email summarizes the current status.
Dear All
Last week we learned that Reynolds Plantation is temporarily off the market. Given that there were no offers acceptable to the banks, the deal is being reconstituted to now include the entire Ritz Carlton hotel property in the new offering. It is also our understanding that the seller is only willing to sell all of the assets as one packaged deal and is not willing, at this point in time, to carve out and sell separately any of the assets including just the amenities.     
 We are unsure as to whether the addition of the Ritz enhances the value of the offering in any way as its inclusion potentially introduces an additional level of complexity to to the transaction. This project was financed in part through a bond offering and the various entities involved in the Ritz makes for a very complex transaction.
We will continue to monitor the opportunity. We continue to believe that the assets of Reynolds Plantation are best owned by the residents in some form and structure. To that end we will keep working to a positive and productive conclusion.
Cliffs Communities
Cliffs developer, Jim Anthony, seemed to have found a solution to his liquidity problem less than two years ago when a group of members loaned him $62 million against pledged amenities. But cash flow remained a problem. Yesterday, well-informed good friend Larry Gavrich posted the following to his blog; (Reprinted with permission)
Cliffs note holders vote for bridge financing; clubs stay open
        The first big step in the financial stabilization of The Cliffs Communities has been taken, with members of ClubCo, the group that loaned founder Jim Anthony $64 million to enhance and finish the golf communities’ impressive roster of amenities, voting to approve bridge financing that will benefit whichever of two bidders winds up owning The Cliffs amenities and unimproved real estate. The temporary financing keeps The Cliffs golf clubs and other amenities open beyond this week.
        A Bluffton, SC, based development group led by John Reed and another developer, the Stokes Land Group out of Jacksonville, FL, are each vying to own The Cliffs unsold land and vaunted amenities. After choosing one of the developers to take over the amenities, ClubCo, which inherited the amenities after Anthony could not make a second payment on the big loan, will declare bankruptcy, clearing the way for a local court to bless or amend a plan to turn the communities over to one of the two suitors. Complicating the situation for the court is a lawsuit Anthony filed against Urbana, a development company to which Anthony previously sold undeveloped lots in an attempt to inject some desperately needed cash into his falling empire. Stokes has indicated in the outline of their plan that they will work with Urbana.
         The Stokes group, under the name Arendale Holdings, has stepped in to assist other golf communities facing financial issues. For example, the group “provided substantially all of the capital” for the Currahee Club, an upscale community on Lake Hartwell in Georgia, where it is “now planning its turnaround,” according to a letter to Cliffs’ members from the Cliffs Member Advisory Group. The letter cites another club in Colorado in which Stokes is involved.
        John Reed and his organization have developed upscale communities in Bluffton, just off Hilton Head Island that include Colleton River, Berkeley Hall and Belfair. It is likely that Reed will counter with a revised offer.
The list of "bad examples" goes on and on. Richmond’s Dominion Club found a way around its unfunded refundable deposits by seeking protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The bulk of the $13 million of listed debts erased were member deposits.
Other developers assured new buyers that their membership deposits would remain protected in escrow accounts until the promised amenities were completed. Bobby Ginn’s Tesoro Club, in Port St. Lucie, and Bella Collina, near Orlando, were among them. Tesoro’s chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy trustee could locate neither the missing funds nor an escrow account. The same maneuver is said to have occurred at Bella Collina.
The Great Recession has changed us forever; just as the Great Depression did for who experience it. Many are scarred by foreclosures, bankruptcies, divorces, even suicides. Things will never be the same.
Today, there is a lot of cash on the sidelines. Prices have pretty much bottomed out and interest rates are at record lows. We are at the beginning of the next cycle of wealth creation. Where are the future winners? And how will they do it? I doubt they will be building new golf-centered residential communities. And before settling into a retirement community, they’ll read the fine print.
13 replies
  1. Lewis Roberts
    Lewis Roberts says:

    Grand Haven

    Last I knew, even as a resident in Grand Haven, I could not play the course if I was not a member. I think this policy has changed at least 6 times in the 6 years I have lived in Grand Haven. The last time I asked how much to play, it was over $100 for a round of golf.

    How dumb can that be? The parking lot is empty on a Saturday morning.

    Lower the price, offer play at least to Grand Haven residents, if not anyone, and get some paying people to play the course.

    I can’t figure it out.

  2. John Boy
    John Boy says:

    Golf Courses

    Makes no sense that any golf course would have an assessment of $1,000,000. My house is assess at over $25,000. and is on less than 1/4 acre while every golf course contains at least 168 acres. They bring in income, my house does not.

    Seems to me that our Tax Assessor is either mis-informed or involved in a criminal activity bought and paid for by the golf courses themselves.

  3. Golf I
    Golf I says:

    Palm Coast Golf Courses

    Great article Toby. The entire golf industry is in a terrible decline. As I’ve always contended, "Overbuilt & Overpriced".
    See ya! Down the middle – Golf I

  4. Golf I
    Golf I says:

    Palm Coast Courses

    And Toby – Add to my previous comment. All courses are suffering from an aging golf membership with few new members. Costs certainly have something to do with it. But speed of play is another contributing factor. Just my 2 cents.

  5. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    The Palm Coast Project Golf Origins

    From the Year:

    (Below are Palm Coast Newsletters sent to us by I.T.T.; also we have just been informed that the Historic Treasure, the Golf Club Arnold Palmer used to *christen* the Matanzas Woods Golf Course has found.)


    Dear Palm Coaster:
    If a history book were published about Palm Coast and its people, an exciting and fulfilling chapter would be written about the year 1978.
    Firm roots were planted by ITT Community Development Corporation ( ICDC) as the headquarters building opened, fulfilling a commitment to consolildate offices from New York, Miami and Palm Coast. The facility and personnel presence in Palm Coast highlight the p0int that ICDC continued taking direct involvement in Palm Coast in developing a planned and controlled community where families can live, work and play.
    Now in the final stages is another key development. The Palm Coast Shopping Center with Publix and Eckerds will offer one stop shppping facilities in fashionable and attractive surroundings.
    We are happy that golf sensation Nancy Lopez has chosen Palm Coast as here official place of residence, and is the touring pro for Palm Coast Golf Club. As we approach the 3,000 population mark in this water-oriented community, we have become the "home-Port" for Nancy’s Navy.
    Arnie’s Army likewise had an enthusiastic showing here as Arnold Palmer played our golf course after signing a contract to design Palm Coast’s second golf course which will be completed by December 32, 1980.
    A further expansion was made in our tennis activities with the opening of six lighted cushionized tennis courts.
    The Palm Coast Community YMCA has soared with interest and participation. Memberships and individual donations have assisted the programs and activities conducted for youngsters and adults living throughout the county.
    Houses of worship likewise have made significant and lasting strides in the community. Services are being held in the St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Chuirch and the First Baptist Church of Palm Coast. Clergy and parishioners of Mother Seton Catholic Church broke ground in September for a church on the newly opened Belle Terre Parkway. The new church will be completed in April or early May.
    In providing support services to the growing community, expansions are being made on the wastewater treatment plant which will be completed in February and the water treatment plant to be completed this spring.
    Palm Coast Utility Corporation has relocated from a model home near the Welcome Center into new offices off of Old King’s Road. New rates, fees and charges were placed in effect on January 1, 1979. These adjustments represent the first overall revision of rates by the Utility since 1971. Due to inflation and increased construction costs, the contribution-in-aid -construction for water has been established in the amount of $640. or $810 depending on Section. The water tap, meter installation and connection fees will range between $255. and $320. For new homesite purchasers who do not connect to the system, there will be an assessed availability fee of $4.00 per month for both water and sewer service.
    In the area of residential lot improvement, all improvements including central sewer failities scheduled to be completed by the end of the year, were completed on time.
    A second fire truck was loaned by ICDC to the Palm Coast Fire District and the volunteer Fire Department.
    Our own Palm Coast Construction Company has entered the residential market and is adding final touches to prototype models.
    The Sheraton Palm Coast Resort Inn received awards of excellence at the Sheraton World Conference held in Boston in September.
    Headlining the Spring Festival was Archie Campbell, of television’s Hee Haw fame. This six-day celebration was highlighted with and international bathtub boat race, the Italian American Festa, a four-mile foot race, band concerts, fireworks, tennis and golf tournaments.
    The year was not all fun and games. Research and hours of hard work were poured into a four-year effort as the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) was completed. Working directly with state planning agencies and receiving valuable input from outside consultants, the ICDD planning staff has readied a plan which provides a working framework describing the locations of future residential units, parts, roads, recreational areas, industrial property and commercial stores.
    This year as Palm Coast continues to grow and develop, we at ICDD look forward to the many new and exciting events which will take place. Personally, I am very enthused about the future and hope our residents and future residents share this enthusiasm about our community. Sincerely, Alan Smolen
    Alan Smolen President AS/agk

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Exective Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628.

    From the Year:


    Dear Palm Coaster,
    It seems every year gets better at Palm Coast and 1979 was a year of solid accomplishment. A brief look at the year in retrospect will explain why I feel that way.
    Early last year Palm Coast Shopping Center saw five businesses open and in April, Publix Supermarket held its grand opening. Today there are 17 tenants in the shopping center, with more on the way.
    The East Flagler Service District was activated in April. This was a giant step towards Palm Coast having one uniform governmental entity.
    The Palm Coast Industrial Park gained a new tenant with the decision by the Wittemann Company of Buffalo, New York, to relocate here. We also began construction of a 25,000 square foot building shell, which we will finish to suit a tenant, and thus provide a competitive delivery date for new industry.
    A new ITT subsidiary ITT Transportation Distribution Service Center, established its headquarters in Palm Coast.
    Another busy element was the religious sector of Palm Coast. The Mother Seton Catholic Church was dedicated in May. Temple Beth Shalom is under construction and the United Presbyterians and United Methodists are both planning to build houses of worship.
    The 200 member Italian American Club held its annual Festa in the Spring, and the club purchased an acre of land where the clubhouse will eventually be built.
    The amenities in Palm Coast continue to expand with the new Swim and Racquest Club completed in December 1979, the expansion of the Marina facilities nearing completion , and our second 18 hole golf course, which was designed by Armond Palmer and Ed Seay, is under construction and due for completion by the end of December 1980.
    Sepaking of golf, Nancy Lopez has continued to represent Palm Coast well by leading the LPGA in wins. Nancy will also purchase one of the new Fairways Condominiums nearing completion , along the 17th Fairway.
    The capacities of the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment plant were expanded last year. The water plant tripled its capacity and the wastewater plant doubled its capacity. Not only de we have good water in Palm Coast, but the water service we provide had a direct bearing on the reduction of fire insurance rates for residents of the Palm Coast Fire District – a savings for everyone in the District.
    Another highlight last year was the opening of Daytona Beach Community College Flagler Center in the Palm Coast Shopping Center. With nearly 400 students from all parts of the Country, the center has already outgrown its facilities and may soon be expanding to a second building in the shopping center.
    Continuing in education, ICDC again last year awarded a 1,000 scholarship to a Flagler Palm Coast High School graduating senior.
    A middle school has been recommended by the State, and ICDC has donated 20 acres of land to the School Board for the school site with an option to purchase an additional 10 acres if needed.
    Our postal service grew again last year. The new Palm Coast Post Office opened in March and began home delivery service in November.
    Construction of new homes was brisk last year, nearing the 300 mark. Our new model home center opened in the Woodlands featuring homes by Palm Coast Construction Company, Brattlof Construction Company and Red Carpet Development.
    The models are open in our new 200 unit condominium being constructed along the 16th and 17th golf course fairways, and units are available for sale in the states where we are registered.
    After many months of planning the I-95 interchange moved closer to reality. Constuction should begin by early 1980.
    Tournaments were much in evidence last year. First, The Nancy Lopez Pro-Am was held in February, followed by the Florida PGA Tournament of Champions . In June, The Colgate/PalmCoast World Mixed Team Championship was won be Lee Trevino and Nancy Lopez. The Michelob Light/Palm Coast Pro-Am Tennis Championships were played at our tennis complex. Out Touring pro Tom Gullikson, who is building a new home in Palm Coast played an exciting exhibition match with another outstanding pro Marty Riesssen.
    Approximately 6,000 homesites were completed by the end of 1979. In addition to all committed improvements, these homesites have central sewer facilities.
    All in all, it was a tremendous year in PalmCoast, and we look forward to 1980 and the beginning of Palm Coast’s second 10 years, Sincerely, Alan Smolen President EXEC1/B

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Exective Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628

    From the Year:


    Dear Palm Coaster
    The year 1980 was an important milestone year for Palm Coast as several
    major projects were finished and others were speeding toward completion.

    Perhaps the most enthusiasm has been generated by the I-95 interchange which
    is soon to be completed at St. Joe Grade Road. The 3.6 million interchange
    will mean less travel time, reduced transportation costs and the ability for
    quicker response to emergency services for Palm Coast residents.

    Palm Coast development – both residential and commercial- experienced a rapid
    growth during the year. In spite of a national downward trend, housing
    starts in Palm Coast continued to show significan increases, up 12 % from

    Palm Coast housing took new directions in 1980, as construction began on a
    number of new model homes. included are luxury homes now under construction
    near the Pine Lakes Golf Course, waterway homes across from the Welcome
    Center, and moderate priced homes off of Belle Terre Parkway North. A total
    of 16 new model shelter units are planned to be opened at various times
    during 1981.

    Contributing significantly to the 1980 total of over 400 housing starts is
    the accelerated condominium activity. Three additional phases ( 76) units
    which are scheduled for completion within the next four months, will bring
    the Fariways condominium complex to a total of 200 units.

    The highlight of commercial activity was the grand opening of The Witteman
    Company headquarters. Formerly based in Buffalo, New York, Wittemann moved
    into their new 1.25 million Palm Coast facility in July, opening 70 jobs
    for the local workforce.

    The response to the newly completed Professional Office Building, which is
    already 75 percent leased, ws so favorable that plans now are being made for
    additional professional office space construction.

    Palm Coast amenities also were in the forefront of the communitys growth
    during the past year. The Belle Terre Swim and Racquet Club had its grand
    opeing last Spring, and now hosts many swim meets throughout the year.

    The Palm Coast Marina, one of the finest docking facilities on the Southeast
    Coast, was officially christened last Spring. The Beautiful new Pine Lakes
    Country Club golf course, designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay. held its
    grand opeing in December, and is in excellent playing shape. Final plans
    were approved in late 1980 for the new Bowling Center. This facility, to be
    located on Old Kings’ Road, just west of the shopping center, is scheduled
    for completion during the summer of 1981.

    For Palm Coast clubs and organizationa, 1980 was the busiest year I can
    remember. The Internation Festival, Italian American Fests, Mother Seton
    Church’s annual Oktoberfest, Palm Coast Vicic Associationa July 4th and
    Labor Day celebrations and concerts of classical and jazz music were
    tremendous successes.

    The Flagler Palm Coast Kiwanis Club brought the Circus to town in April, the
    Flagler County Friends of the Library opened a library in the Shopping
    Center, The Italian American Club began construction of their new club
    facility, and the Palm Coast YMCA sponsosred a regional swim meets, soccer,
    and volley ball leagues, parades, dances and parties.

    The relilgious sector of Palm Coast continued to expand in 1980. First
    services were held in March at the New Temple Beth Shalom on Wellington
    Drive, and the Presbyterian Church of Palm Coast broke ground for a worship
    facility of their own on Florida Park Drive.

    As of July, 1980, the Florida Legislature placed Palm Coast Utility
    Corporation under the jurisdiction fo the PSC. Under this new arrangement,
    the Utility has sought and may periodically seek new water and sewer rates,
    fees and charges from the Public Service Commission, Tallahassee, Florida
    32304. where current and pending rates are available.

    Further steps for expanded educational facilities in Flagler County were
    bgun in 1980. a 6 Million school bond isssue received voter approval in
    September, giving the Flagler County School District the go ahead for
    construction of a middle school in Palm Coast. The site consists of 30 acres
    of land, 20 or which were donated by ICDC.

    Agreements were finalized between ICDC and Daytona Beach Community College
    for an ICDC donation of 100 acres to be used in the future as a Flagler
    County branch campus.

    Palm Coast’s growth also was evident in the living rooms of our residents.
    Palm Cable, Inc., continued its expansion program making cable TV service
    available to more than 1,000 homes in Palm Coast. Home Box Office HBO and
    Cinemax are now available to cable TV subscribers. In addition, installation
    of a new satellite receiving station in September made possible the TV
    reception of the Superstation Atlanta’s Channel 17.

    Im certain that when the history of Palm Coast is penned sometime in the
    distant future, the year that began the Community’s second decade 1980 will
    warrant two chapters instead of one. It has been a year of outstanding
    accomplishment in Palm Coast; one in which we can all take pride, an I look
    forward to even greater growth and progress in the years ahead.
    Alan Smolen.

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Exective Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628

    From the Year:


    Dear Palm Coaster:
    For Palm Coast, 1981 was a very busy year; a year of important and wide ranging achievements, and a year of positive progress. Her’s a briefs look at the highlights:
    The 3.6 million Palm Coast Parkway/I-95 interchange – funded more than 95 percent by ITT Community Developoment Corporation (ICDC) was christened in May by Florida Lt. Governor Wayne Mixson, who called the project a "artenership between private industry and government." ICDC planners perdict the interchange will create many opportunities for commercial and industrial growth in the community.
    With this in mind, ICDC opened Palm Coast Industrial Park west of U.S. 1 in November. The Park with 32 acres in its first phase – offers smaller businesses a lower cost alternative to the Pine Lakes Commerce/Industrial Park. Due to begin production early in 1982 in the new park is Olde St. Augustine Ovens, Inc. manufacturers of all-natural cookies and other healthporiented baking products. Another company to begin operations in 1982 is Cardiac Control Systems, Inc., a cardiac pacemaker firm. Cardian Control initially will employ 70 persons in its 25,000 square foot facility in the Pine Lakes park, and could employ up to 1,000 people within 5 or 6 years, according to its management at this time. Negotiations for facilities in the parks are continuing with several other companies.
    Tenants in The Atrium, the first professional office building in Palm Coast, began doing business in their new offices in Janary. Next door, the Realty World Complex, which includes a branch office of Centruy Federal Savings and Loan, opened for business in November, Barnett Bank’s branch office near the shopping center is scheduled for completion in January; Florida Federal Savings and Loan’s branch nearby is scheduled for completion in March and Security First Federal Savings and Loan in the Palm Harbor Shopping Center completed expansion of its facility in November.
    Palm Cable, Inc., continued its expansion program in 1981, with service now available to more than 1,7000 Palm Coast homes. Also, the Entertainment and Sports Network (ESPN) was added to the basic subscriber package, joining pay channels HBO and Cinemas, Atlanta’s superstation Channel 17 and eight other channels.
    Palm Coast’s water and wastewater treatment plants are undergoing expansion and are expected to be completed next summer, the water treatment plant won its second consecutive state award for operational excellence. The Florida Public Service Commission – which regulates Palm Coast Utility Corporation (PCUC)- authorized PCUC in December to increase the sewer fee to $1,342 for all sections of Palm Coast. The increase will be in effect in 1982. A Palm Coast substation of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Department opened in October, manned by full-time deputies and Palm Coast volunteers. The Belle Terre Middle School, being built on 30 acres of land donated by ICDC is progressing toward a Fall, 1982 opening.

    Coquina Lanes, a new 20-lane bowling center, opened in August. A little further north on Old Kings Road is the spacious clubhouse of the Italian-American Club, completed last spring. The former Palm Coast Yacht Club reopened in March as The Harbour Restaurant with beautifully renovated interior and new menu selections. The Pine Lakes Country Club restaurant began serving gourmet dinners and lunches to members in the fall. Also the Palm Harbor Tennis Club has been enlarged and improved withe the addition of a lounge and restroom/locker building, and the 19th Hole at the Palm Harbor Golf Club was enlarged and renovated as well.
    Special events staged this year were huge successes. The Internation Festival in October drew more than 10,000 visitors to Palm Coast. The Italian Festa in May, Mother Seton Catholic Chursh’s Oktoberfest, the Palm Coast Civic Association’s July 4th celebration and Entertainment ’81 concert series, plus special events staged by the YMCA and other organizations made thie year’s social calendar a busy and entertaining one.
    Religious organizations continued to thrive. St. Mark by the Sea Lutheran Church celebrated the fifth Anniversary of its sanctuary by buring the mortgage papers on July 5. Trinity United Presbyterian Church dedicated its beautiful new sanctuary in late April, and members of the Palm Coast United Methodist Church broke ground for their new sanctuary in November.
    Meanwhile, ICDC continued its diversification of housing product lines, with the opening of Pine Lakes Village, a new country club community of luxury single family and condominium homes west of I-95. The 1.8 million Pine Lakes Country Club clubhouse, local point of Pine Lakes Village, was christened in August by Arnold Palmer, co-designer of the 7,066 – yard Pine Lakes course.
    The Woodlands Model Home Center featuring six new single family homes designs, opened in early summer almost simultaneously with the first 20 units of the Woodhaven Condominium on Old Kings Road. Two other new Palm Coast Construction Company model homes – the Sandpebble and Westwind – opened in January on canal lots directly across from the Welcome Center.
    In other residential news, land development of residential lots – i.e., roads, central sewer and water lines – was completed ahead of schedule in all sections of Palm Coast that had an Improvement Completion Date of December 31, 1981. Similarly, we expect all other previously committed residential land development in Palm Coast to be completed ahead of schedule.
    In sports, Roscoe Tanner and Brian Gottfried battled Palm Coast resident touring pro Tom Gullikson in tennis exhibition matches this year, and Palm Harbor and Pine Lakes golf courses hosted the North Florida PGA’s sectional championship and Tournament of Champions. Our LPGA touring pro, Nancy Lopex-Melton, after tuning up her game in Palm Coast last winter, had a fine year on the tour and will continue to represent Palm Coast on the LPGA circuit.
    So you see, it has been an active, exciting year in Palm Coast. I look forward to more of the same. Sincerely, Alan Smolen, President.

    The above from: ITT Community Development Corporation, Exective Offices, Palm Coast, Florida 32051 Telephone (904)445-2628

  6. George Edward Chuddy
    George Edward Chuddy says:

    Magnificent Monster Golf Course

    The first 18 Hole Championship Golf Course for Flagler County was the ‘Palm Coast Golf Course’ now known as ‘The Palm Harbor Golf Course’. It was called ‘The Magnificent Monster’.
    Tho’ ‘The Palm Coast Project’ originally started with the ‘Four Sisters’ perhaps now consideration can be given to offer ‘Flagler County’ as a Golfers Paradise with ’10 Sisters Golf’ – each Course helping each other in some way to survive well – for instance for Tourism offering a 10 day Golf vacation playing a different Sister each day –

    The Palm Club, a condominium , is now part of the excitement at Palm Coast, Florida.

    Palm Coast is a new community being developed by ITT Community Development Corporation. With over five miles of ocean beach along Florida’s Atlantic coast, it is just 43 miles from historic St. Augustine and 24 miles from the modern growing city of Daytona Beach.
    Recreation and social activities abound at Palm Coast. In addition to miles of Atlantic shoreline, Palm Coast has more than 17 miles along the Intracoastal Waterway and numerous streams, ponds and lakes. All this makes for excellent swimming , boating and bountiful salt and fresh water fishing. Palm Coast’s championship 18 – hole golf course and tennis courts are available as well as its yacht club and marina. ( Membership rates ad fees for recreational facilities are available on request). Temperatures are moderate, with a daily average of 60 in December and 80 in July.
    There’s plenty going on around Palm Coast, too. Daytona Beach has its renowned auto racing speedway, jai alai and dog racing. restaurants and night clubs. Marineland, with its famous aquarium and show, is just 23 miles away.
    For those interested in cultural pursuits, St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States, features an area restored to its appearance in Spanish times. Both St. Augustine and Daytona Beach offer museums and historical sites, concerts by symphony orchestras and leading artists, and touring ballet and theatre.
    Palm Coast is a community where plans and protections will help growth occur on an ecologically sound basis, with fresh air, 15,000 Acres of green enclaves, and low population densities. With its climate, access by air, train and auto, and many recreational facilities, Palm Coast proves an ideal location for meetings, vacations, and year ’round living.
    PO 603. This offer is not valid in the State of New York nor any other state where prohibited by law
    The luxury, splendor and joys of good living are all yours at Palm Club. This magnificent condominium is located at Palm Coast, one of Florida’s most exciting new communities; a wonderland of sparkling beaches, green woods, wild flowers, lakes and streams. It is a water-oriented community with more than five miles of sparkling beach along the Atlantic ocean and over 12 miles along the Intracoastal Waterway. Here, you can experience the joy and pleasure of living close to nature in an uncrowded, spacious atmosphere. At the same time, you can also enjoy the convenience of being within easy reach of diverse shopping facilities, fine restaurants and year-round entertainment.
    There are many things to see and do in the nearby area. Daytona, with its world-famous speedway and its busy nightlife is only 24 miles to the south. And just 26 miles north, you’ll find charming Saint Augustine, the oldest city in the nation with its famous restorations, quaint shops and cheery little side streets looking much the same as it did in the 17th Century.
    The location of Palm Club within the Palm Coast community is a dream come true. On one side, the rolling greens of the Palm Coast Golf Course stretch out before you creating a feeling of spaciousness. On the other side, canals dotted with boats sailing by furnish a marvelous view. And all around a combination of natural greenery and fine landscaping bring nature close to you and provide both esthetic beauty and a welcomed feeling of privacy.
    As an owner of a Palm Club condominium, you can enjoy some of the most extensive recreational facilities on Florida’s northeast coast. All of Palm Coast’s amenities are open to you including immediate membership in the Golf and Yacht clubs at low resident rates.
    The golfer can take special delight in the fact that the place he calls home is just short walk away from Palm Coast’s 18-hole championship golf course. This ‘" Magnificent Monster " with its great trees, water hazards and well-placed traps has been acclaimed by touring pros as one of the finest courses in all of Florida and is the site of the Annual Palm Coast Open on the PGA tour.
    For tennis enthusiasts, courts with the latest synthetic surfaces are available within easy walking distance from your front door. About a half-mile down the road, you’ll find the Palm Coast yacht Club with excellent facilities and a delightful array of diversions. There are two main dining rooms, a bar, lounge and huge game room designed in an intriguing African motif. Outside the clubhouse, there’s a Junior Olympic size swimming pool that is often the site of swimming meets held as part of Palm Coast’s Community activities program. There’s also a gigantic sundeck, 2 tennis courts and a 75 slip marina that acts as a welcome ‘oasis’ for boats passing by.
    If fishing is your ‘thing’ , this part of the country is a veritable paradise. Whiting, channel bass, bluefish and pompano are regularly caught in the area and there’s an awesome variety of big game waiting for the adventurous angle in the cobalt blue waters off shore.
    In addition to all of these amenities offered at Palm Coast, your Palm Club condominium will offer you your own recreation center including swimming pool, sundeck and game room.
    As an owner of a Palm Club condominium, you will receive a warranty deed giving you full title to your residence. You can forget about maintenance, painting, fighting weeds, mowing lawns and all of the rest. Instead, you can devote your time to golf, tennis swimming, boating and fun. Another advantage of being a Palm Club condominium owner is that you are entitled to deduct all interest and real estate taxes from your Federal tax return. At Palm Club, you can choose from wither one or two bedroom layouts, or two bedroom townhouses, to suit your particular needs. All first floor units will have terraces and all second floor units will have balconies for sunning and enjoying the view. Many will also feature screened-in porches. All apartments will come complete with wall-to-wall carpeting in living areas, vinyl floor kitchens and ceramic tile in baths. Your work-saving GE kitchens will include a 14 cu. ft. refrigerator, electric range, dishwasher and washer/drier. there will be individual air conditioning and heating controls in each apartment. Every layout has been designed with comfort and convenience in mind.
    Consider all the Palm Club has to offer. With each new day there are a host of interesting and varied activities close by…from playing a championship golf course in the early dawn to luxuriating in the beauty of a spectacular sunset. It all adds up to a way of life that promised to be rich and rewarding to you and your family.

  7. Richard DeCola
    Richard DeCola says:

    Grand Haven

    First let me say that the parking lot at Grand Haven is a good thing for the community we now have a place to park and access the Esplanade , where before we had to park on the street Second the Golf Club payes it share to the CDD for the parking lot . You have to do somemore research before you make a statement about things that don’t affect you but do the good people of Grand Haven , we have a very good CDD and now have a solid company to work with our CDD so please no negative remarks

  8. Sam H
    Sam H says:

    Mis-Informed ?

    Great article Toby as usual. Having actually appraised several golf courses throughout the state and worked with several county agencies in the process including Flagler County, I have to take exception to the comment posted by John Boy. When derogatory comments are made with no basis or facts, it takes away from a well written and researched topic and tends to create a negative enviroment. Could it be JB that there may be particular property types given our current economic conditions that may be adversely affected more than others. Common sense should tell you that you don’t compare the value of a sfr to a golf course. No more than you would a duplex to a hotel or even a shopping center to a office building. Apples and apples please. I can tell you based on "experience", there is an extreme amount of functional and economic obsolescence applied to the valuation of golf courses that would not be found in a sfr appraisal. Just because it’s an income producing property doesn’t make it more valueable JB. Again, thanks Toby for keeping us "informed". Good night John Boy.

  9. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to Richard

    I did my research. The documents can be found in public records.

    The transaction I’m referring to did not take place under the currently composed CDD or its manager. The transaction occurred when the developer was still in control of the CDD.

    If we don’t learn from history, we are bound to repeat it.

  10. Toby
    Toby says:

    Reply to Sam H

    You make a good point. Income producing doesn’t mean profit producing. It’s the high fixed costs that cause golf course operators problems when variable revenue is down.

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