About 500 residents living near a golf course formerly owned by Escondido Country Club are meeting Wednesday to discuss the future of the land.
After 46 years of business, Escondido Country Club will close on April 1.According to owners, club membership has declined from 500 to 135 members in recent years. Those dwindling membership numbers, combined with the recession and swelling operational costs, ultimately led to financial hardship.
The property on 1800 W Country Club Ln. was purchased out of bankruptcy late last year by a company out of Los Angeles called Rough, LLC. The company may use the 110 acres of land for residential development, which has local residents worried they will lose their fairway view.
But Rough LLC representative Ronald Richards said the course isn’t making enough money.
“The golf course can’t support itself,” said Ronald Richards, representative of Rough LLC.
He said when Rough LLC came in, they paid $100,000 in water bills owed to the city, and paid all the employees what they were owed. But he says the country club was losing about $35,000 a month so, they were forced to close it.
“We have to get money from another source and development may be the only option,” said Richards.
Country club member and resident Jerry Swadley told NBC 7 that he’s been living on a house next to the golf course for 10 years. He’s worried that his property value could drop up to 25 percent if the land is turned into housing.
“I don’t think there’s anybody who wants it,” Swadley said. “We have members that have belonged for close to 50 years and to have their life leave or be destroyed so to speak is very disappointing to all of us.”
He admitted the fairways are a bit run down, but thinks if the club recruits new members the course could be fixed.
Residents formed the Escondido Country Club & Community Homeowners Organization and have hired a lawyer to explore any potential legal options. More than 500 people are expected to meet Wednesday night to discuss the possibilities.
Richards from Rough LLC said there is no timeline on developing the land and that the company is open to any other ideas.