Why is the City selling off the golf course and other undeveloped parcels of land?
Let’s start with the easy question – why sell the undeveloped parcels? The City is doing this so that Montage and Pendry hotels may be built along with a conference facility and resort oriented retail and residential development.This development will also yield a 28.4 acre City park, and hiking/biking trails.
Now for the harder question – why sell the golf course?The City used tax exempt bond funds (along with other monies) to purchase the land and build the golf course and related improvements.The IRS oversees the use of tax exempt bond funds and limits the amount of non-tax revenue a city may receive from city investments made with tax exempt bond funds.In La Quinta’s case, the City may only receive $9.7 million in non-tax revenue.By transferring the golf course to the developer, he can make $3.5 million in golf course improvements, build a $7.0 million clubhouse, pay $6.2 million (to the City) in development impact fees, provide a $1.0 million City park and make other improvements that will benefit the City.
When will this transfer of the golf course occur?
After the Montage and Pendry Hotels are under construction and after the permanent clubhouse (that the developer is building) opens. This is scheduled for the summer of 2019.
How will this affect the La Quinta Residents and their golf privileges?
The City is recording covenants that run for perpituity that are senior to all financing and liens.The covenants require that 33% of all golf rounds (15,000 rounds) be reserved for resident play, preserves resident tee rates and establishes a mechanism to increase resident tee rates (but in no case shall resident rates be greater than 50% of market rates during the season), and allows residents to book tee times no less than one week in advance.These covenants can only be modified if a majority of the La Quinta City Council approves modifications.
When does the guarantee allocation (1/3 of tee times) of tee times start?
Prior to transferring the golf course the manager must follow one of two mechanisms in providing/ booking resident tee times as follows: (A) Current practice which yields roughly 1/3rd of all play or 15,000 rounds annually. (B) set aside 1/3rd of available tee times from opening until1:00 pmdaily that can be booked by residents at a minimum of seven days in advance. Note following transfer of Golf Course new operator/manager must utilize method (B) described above.Method (A) above is required as an option until such time as additional golf demand is generated by the completion of the hotels.
Will the Resident Rate increase in price?
Yes, the City Council has discussed increasing resident rates (they have not been increased since the golf course opened in March, 2005) by November 2017. The City Council will be discussing the rate increase this summer.
Will the quality of the golf course or golf experience be reduced?
No.The City is recording addition covenants (that run for perpetuity) that requires the golf course to be maintained in like or better manner.Also, the City’s contract with Palmer Design establishes maintenance standards in order to retain the Arnold Palmer Signature Course title. These requirements will also be transferred to the developer.