The group that owns Terradyne Country Club has a contract with Denver-based Hale Irwin Golf Services to assess what to do with the club.
Selling is one option. Taking the club to the next level is another.
“I think all the partners are interested in staying with Terradyne, but we need somebody … to help us become profitable,” says Terradyne managing partner Craig Smith. “We all love Terradyne, but writing a check every month isn’t fun.”
The group, which bought Terradyne six years ago, includes local partners Rob Patton, Don Marvin, Mark Wellemeyer, Duke Evans, Chris Stevens and Jeff Bennett as well as two out-of-state investors.
Smith says the partners spent several million dollars in renovations after purchasing the club, and business did begin turning around initially.
“The golf business was great,” he says.
“I don’t think it’s any secret that the golf world is a difficult world to live in because of the economy,” Smith says. “All over the country the golf business is difficult.”
Terradyne has a 60-day contract with Hale Irwin for the group to study the club and how to improve it. There’s a chance Hale Irwin may be interested in purchasing the club.
“They’ll consider it,” Smith says. “I don’t know whether they’ll do it.”
For now, Hale Irwin is doing a “thorough review of all the things that we’re doing.”
After the contract is up, Smith says there’s a chance Terradyne will hire Hale Irwin to help make some changes.
“They’ve had great ideas for us just verbally,” he says. “The initial thing is for them to come in and get it profitable.”
Smith says the partners have already been successful in changing Terradyne’s image. He says the club previously had a negative image due to past ownership issues.
“I think people in the community think a lot differently of Terradyne now than they did then,” he says.
“It’s never had a very good image in the community. It’s taken us a while to turn that around.”
Terradyne has 300 members, about 200 of whom the partners have added since buying the club in 2006. Smith says an increase in membership is key to the club’s financial success.
“We can easily add 100 without crowding the golf course.”
He says the addition of the Hereford House restaurant has been important. Smith says the restaurant is “booming.”
The repurposing of some areas of the “monstrous” – as Smith puts it – 63,500-square-foot clubhouse has been successful as well. The third floor now has about 10 businesses offering salon services, such as hair and nail care and massage.
“They’ve just kept coming,” Smith says.
He says the partners still hope to one day have a hotel on the property. In 2008, the city of Andover approved $15 million in industrial revenue bonds for a 100-room hotel.
“The reason it’s been so long is the money for the construction of hotels … is pretty much nonexistent,” Smith says.
The plan would be to move Terradyne’s ballroom to the first floor of the hotel, which would be northeast of the clubhouse, and create new conference facilities in the current lower level ballroom.
Smith says he expects the hotel would be a $10 million project and that the new conference center would take another $3 million or so.
It would be worth it, he says, to have a hotel on a golf course that also works for corporate meeting space.
“There isn’t anything available this side of Dallas or Denver or St. Louis,” he says. “It’s a good idea. … It’s not something that can be duplicated very easily because it costs too much money to build a golf course, so that’s where the idea comes from.”
Smith says there also are plans to build possible condominiums on 14 acres on the west side of the clubhouse.
Terradyne has 180 acres, 130 of which is the golf course. There’s also a residential area with 55 lots, about a dozen of which have houses so far. That’s also where Terradyne’s driving range is.
Smith says club owners will make a decision about moving forward with Hale Irwin by the end of the year.
“I would say that we would be open if that group were interested in going forward with us.”
You don’t say
“I’m just glad they can’t see my transcript.”
– WSU alum and Wichita Eagle writer Bonnie Bing, who is receiving the school’s President’s Medal Sunday
Carrie Rengers first reported these items on her blog. Be among the first to get her business scoops at blogs.kansas.com/haveyouheard.
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