Carrie Rengers

Crestview Country Club may sell to Concert Golf Partners

Andy Winings lines up his putt on No. 17 in front of the crowd during the fourth round of the 2015 Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club.
Andy Winings lines up his putt on No. 17 in front of the crowd during the fourth round of the 2015 Air Capital Classic at Crestview Country Club. File photo

The Crestview Country Club board of directors sent an e-mail to members Thursday afternoon to say that the club has a letter of intent to sell to Newport Beach-based Concert Golf Partners.

“The country club business is a very difficult business to be in these days with declining membership, increased costs and difficult management issues,” the e-mail said. “In order to fix/improve our membership, food and beverage operations, debt and overall management issues, we were faced with a number of unpleasant decisions that needed to be made concerning limiting services and reducing overhead. That is until we contacted Concert Golf as another possible alternative.”

Club management didn’t return calls for comment.

The e-mail said the board has looked at options to keep the club “a 36 hole, full service private country club as we know and love today.”

It further said that there is no binding agreement that the club has to sell to Concert Golf.

After a February presentation by Concert Golf chairman Peter Nanula, the board said it unanimously decided the company “had great potential and some significant qualities that should be investigated,” the e-mail said.

It further said:

“Concert Golf Partners currently owns and operates 12 upscale private clubs. The 13th will join next month in Rockville, Maryland. Crestview would be the 14th. Their intent is to not go beyond 20 clubs to maintain the intimacy of a small “boutique” portfolio of clubs they know well. Concert has been in operation since 2011 but the management has been together since 1990 when they ran Arnold Palmer Golf Management (30 clubs). Concert Golf has a significant private capital backing whose business model is to buy high-end quality clubs that are in need of financial assistance to maintain their full service status as a country club. They only buy clubs that have experienced the issues of declining membership, tight cash flow (multiple assessments) and difficulty in paying for much needed capital improvements in a shrinking membership environment. Per the agreement, Concert Golf would pay off all our club’s debt, freeze dues for a period of time, eliminate assessments, pay for much needed capital projects and more importantly run the club the way a country club should be run in today’s market. Their main goal is to maintain the country club culture as well as the private full service country club Crestview is known for. Your board believes Concert Golf Partners is by far the best company to run our club.”

The e-mail said there will be a series of town hall meetings with Nanula for members to find out more.

If there is a deal, it looks like it could happen by early summer.

The board asked members “first and foremost to keep an open mind.”

“The Board of Directors truly believes this is a wonderful opportunity to make Crestview Country Club the best club in the area with a bright and robust future.”

Carrie Rengers: 316-268-6340, @CarrieRengers