Charles Schwab Challenge

Colonial Country Club


Going Against The Grain

May 07, 2009

Developers in Michigan and British Columbia are pushing ahead with splashy golf resorts at a time when (one might argue) that's the last thing we need. Here's a feature article about the Michigan project, the Golf Club at Harbor Shores, and a press release about the Canadian one, Canyon Desert Golf Resort.

The Golf Club at Harbor Shores is a Jack Nicklaus Signature design that will front Lake Michigan in the town of Benton Harbor. The first nine holes and a driving range are scheduled to open this summer. The developer imagines approximately 800 residences and 80 to 200 hotel rooms at Harbor Shores.

Canyon Desert Resort is to be set in Oliver, B.C., site of multiple wineries as well as the existing NK'MIP Canyon Desert golf course (pictured). Plans call for 450 golf and lakefront condos, villas and lodge resort suites.

Hard to know how this will all turn out, of course. Perhaps they have timed the market perfectly.

I will say I found this comment from the Harbor Springs managing partner, um, interesting: "Our economic success is based a lot more on real estate sales than it is on the golf operation," Mark Heseman told "You have to think of this as the total Harbor Shores resort, and the golf operation is one of the central amenities to that, but the main economic driver is the real estate that surrounds the golf course."

How many times did we hear that in the real estate boom years?

-- P.F.