Wed, July 17

Beaver Creek Golf Club may be sold<br><i>Sedona buyers to keep golf course open </i>

Managers of Beaver Creek Golf Club have announced that it has entered into a purchase agreement with a group of investors from Sedona with a potential closing date of mid-June. The asking price for the golf course, four parcels of land and buildings is $2.4 million.

"A purchase agreement was signed on April 16," she said. "We are now in a 30-day inspection period. The closing date should be in mid-June."

Chambers said the group of independent investors wants to keep the golf course open. More specific information on the investors should be available in the near future, she added.

"It's too early in the process for specifics right now," she said. "We'll have more information after the inspection period."

She said that the investors are all golfers, and she believes that the golf course will remain open.

Chambers said that she and her husband Bill, also a manager, are excited about these buyers and hope that the transaction will proceed without any problems.

"It's a win-win situation for all concerned, and we're very excited," she added.

The Beaver Creek Golf Club has been the center of much controversy for years, starting with the drought-choked pond called Lake Montezuma, to the proposal of developing the golf course into apartments and condominiums and, most recently, proposed annexation into the Town of Camp Verde.

The state of the golf resort and restaurant remain in question as the business owners claim they are no longer able to operate the resort because of financial challenges that have plagued it for more than a decade.

Chambers said that several attempts to sell the golf resort to other parties who were interested in the business of golf, fell by the wayside for a multitude of reasons. Meanwhile, the resort loses business and is operating in the red.

Chambers commented that she and her family hope to see the resort purchased and operated as a golf resort and that their plan is to sell the golf course to be maintained as such.

"But if that doesn’t happen, we have to look at other options," she said.

Recently a question was raised about the phrasing; "high-density housing" that appeared on a memorandum sent on Feb. 26 by Larry Hays, vice president and treasurer of the golf resort. Chambers said that to the best of her knowledge, the county's definition of high-density housing is four units per acre.

If it were rezoned, "25 percent of the golf course would remain open space," she said. "But construction of condos, apartments and town homes in small clusters is a possibility if the property is rezoned."

At a public meeting March 4, Chambers suggested that the community establish a special-use district where the community would take possession and management of the course itself, but the asking price is $2.4 million.

"If the golf course doesn't get someone willing to take the risk with their money, then it may go away. That's a fact," she said.

Bill Chambers said they have no choice but to sell, whether or not it is operated as another golf course or rezoned and developed will be seen.

However, this latest twist in the tale of the Beaver Creek Golf Club has everyone excited, including management and residents of Rimrock.

Fran Drury has lived in the Beaver Creek area for more than 30 years.

"Bill Chambers came to a Kiwanis meeting and announced that someone was interested in buying the golf course at the asking price," she said.

She added that if the golf course were developed into housing, it would have a negative impact on not only the surrounding area of Rimrock, but Beaver Creek and McGuireville as well.

It was suggested that if the open spaces were developed into high-density housing, existing property values would be reduced by approximately 20 percent.

"The owners of the golf resort have had problems ever since I've lived here. It went back and fourth for a long time," she said. "Maybe the new buyers will be different and things will finally be settled."

The latest move to save the golf course, spearheaded by the Lake Montezuma Property Owners Association, was proposing annexation into the Town of Camp Verde.

During a meeting April 19, Town of Camp Verde City Manager Bill Lee met with members of the community to discuss annexation.

Drury said that she was against annexation from the start.

"I think that's a mistake," she said. "It was tried years and years ago, but it didn't work for some reason. Let's hope the new buyers of the golf course will keep the community the way it is."

Lake Montezuma Property Owners Association president Robert McClarin said he is cautiously optimistic, being unsure of the future of the community, whether or not the golf course is maintained, or if the community is annexed into Camp Verde.

He added that the property owners association is concerned about the prospect of rezoning of the golf course, losing the open space of the community and protecting the water rights.

"Until I get official notification from the new owners, I remain cautiously optimistic," he said. "It would seem that when the new owners are ready, it would be appropriate to contact the property owners association with their plans for the community."

McClarin said that despite the recent development, the discussion of annexation will continue.

"The reason for annexing is to protect the community against an uncertain future," he said. "And the process will continue until we determine that the future does not include rezoning of the golf course."

The next meeting of the Lake Montezuma Property Owners Association will be May 3 at 4 p.m. at the Beaver Creek Adult Center.