Applewood Golf Course update

Post date: May 24, 2016 3:08:34 PM

An update from our partners at Save Applewood Golf Course:

In a follow up meeting today (May 18) before the Board of County Commissioners, Jeffco Open Space (JOS) director, Tom Hoby, provided answers to questions raised in a previous hearing to solicit approval of a $1.1M grant to aid in the purchase of the Applewood Golf Course (AGC).

To Commissioner Rosier’s objection that there wasn’t a deal to support grant approval, Tom Hoby announced that Prospect Recreation and Parks District (PRPD) had a letter of intent (LOI) with Molson Coors (MC) to purchase the property for $13.5M. The purchase price to MC would be supplemented by “bargain sale” tax credits to bring the total revenue up to the appraised value of the property (not disclosed).

In the previous hearing, Commissioner Rosier had also expressed concerns about the ability of PRPD to support the operation and maintenance of the golf course and wanted to hear more about the plans for the property under PRPD’s ownership.

Bill Farrell, PRPD’s treasurer, presented detailed information on the fiscal solvency and sound management practices of PRPD’s current holdings and documented PRPD’s ability to manage the course going forward. Of significance, the LOI states PRPD’s intent to take over the remainder of Touchstone’s (the golf course’s current management company) lease and operate the course for the next ten years. Depending, in part, on the approval of grant funding of $2M (as opposed to $1.1M) from the Commissioners, PRPD would be in an immediate financial position to make up to $1M in near term capital improvements to the irrigation system, parking lot and cart shed.

Jim Zimmerman, PRPD’s chairman, added that to enhance the property’s multi – use potential, plans for the course included the construction of tennis courts and, pending a right of way agreement with MC, the construction of a hiking/biking path to the Clear Creek trail. Furthermore, PRPD would develop a master plan, with the community’s input, detailing the plans for future recreational opportunities and amenities.

Commissioner Rosier brought up his concerns about the potential cost and availability of water to support the golf course. PRPD said that plans were being discussed with both MC and third parties to provide the necessary water at an affordable rate. Under a worst case scenario, if water were not available after the expiration of the Touchstone lease, the golf course would be allowed to revert to its natural state and be operated as an open space park, not unlike Crown Hill, which was referred to by Hoby as the most popular park in the County.

Commissioner Tighe stated his longstanding support of the effort to save the golf course and expressed his support of additional grant funding, if necessary, to insure that the deal would not fall apart due to a shortfall in funding.

To complete funding for the purchase, a $3M grant from Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) is pending approval in a hearing on June 13th. JOS and PRPD expressed hope that a grant approval by the Commissioners could be forthcoming in time to bolster approval by GOCO of the additional grant.

At the end of the meeting, Commissioner Szabo, who helped bring MC to the negotiating table following the exit of the Carlson developers late last Fall, expressed her support for the original $1.1 grant recommendation. Commissioner Tighe joined in her support and Commissioner Rosier offered his tentative support pending further review of the financial documents presented by PRPD.

A final and binding vote will take place at a public hearing on May 31st at the Taj Mahal (100 Jefferson County Parkway) commencing at 8 a.m. in Hearing Room One.

We strongly urge all those interested in the outcome to attend this meeting to express their support for the golf course and for the Open Space grant.