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updated: 7/31/2012 5:58 AM

Cary Park District may buy golf course

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  • This tricky, short par three to a peninsula green is part of Chalet Hills Golf Club in Cary. The course is for sale, and the Cary Park District officials are considering buying it.

       This tricky, short par three to a peninsula green is part of Chalet Hills Golf Club in Cary. The course is for sale, and the Cary Park District officials are considering buying it.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

The Cary Park District board is considering whether to purchase the Chalet Hills Golf Club, a venture that would help the district get a foot into the lucrative banquet industry.

The park district is always looking within its boundaries to see whether there are new recreation opportunities, and at the moment there are no other spaces in the district for banquet services, park Commissioner Bill Harvey said.

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While the district already owns and operates Foxford Hills Golf Club, Chalet Hills offers a sizable banquet hall, which the district could market as a place for wedding receptions and other large parties.

Moreover, Chalet Hills is about two miles away from Foxford Hills, which means the park district could use the same crew to manage and maintain both courses, as opposed to using separate crews.

The district has a proven track record of success with Foxford Hills, which it has owned and operated since 2004. That golf club has realized $1.8 million profit since then, money the district has used to offset other expenses and to fund capital projects, including the Cary Community Trail near Cary-Grove Park and the dog park at Hoffman Park.

The board is determining whether it would have similar success with Chalet Hills.

"We're just evaluating if this is the right fit for the park district, if it makes sense to move forward with any kind of a purchase scenario," Harvey said. "Anytime you buy something, it's a risk and that's part of the evaluation process. Is this the right thing to do, is this the right time to do it?"

Chalet Hills fell into foreclosure last fall and has been for sale since this spring, Harvey said. The course is still open and a receiver maintains the facility, Harvey said.

Rather than go to taxpayers for a referendum requesting to buy the property, the district would seek alternative revenue bonds to finance the project.

"Because (Chalet Hills) has a revenue stream, we can look at the revenue stream to pay off those bonds," Harvey said.

Discussions on acquiring it began nearly two months ago.

The board is expected to make a decision on Chalet Hills within the next few months.

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