Deeds and Weeds
June 29, 2009

Wisconsin's Hillmoor GC in limbo

The other day my colleague Pete Finch wrote about a Wisconsin golf club, Waushara GC, that had been rescued from financial collapse by its own members, who were actually pitching in and working at the course themselves.

Not so happy news, unfortunately, at another Wisconsin facility, Hillmoor GC in Lake Geneva. As detailed in this story in the Janesville (Wis.) Gazette, Hillmoor has been a favorite spot of Lake Geneva golfers since the 1920s. The city owns eight holes. The other 10 were owned by a developer who wanted to acquire the rest, build houses and turn it into a golf community. But when he defaulted on a $23.2 million loan in 2008, his lease on Hillmoor transferred to a lender, Kennedy Funding of New Jersey.Â

Kennedy and the Lake Geneva City Council became embroiled in a financial disagreement over Hillmoor, with the result being that all maintenance and upkeep of the golf course stopped. Last week the city council voted to terminate the lease, which means it now owns the golf course. And it doesn't sound as though the city wants to be in the gof business.

The story states, "A report prepared by the committee showed a municipal course could break even if the city purchased the land for $4 million and the course saw an annual profit of $800,000. City officials have been reluctant to seriously consider the idea. 'The question that's never asked is if the city buys it, how is the city going to pay for it,' [Mayor Bill] Chesen said."

-- G.R.