King's Deer residents hopeful that golf course will come back

By Ned Hunter Updated: February 20, 2014 at 6:51 am • Published: February 19, 2014 | 5:45 pm 0
photo - Hole 4 at King's Deer Tuesday, May 23, 2006.  Photo by Hunter McRae
Hole 4 at King's Deer Tuesday, May 23, 2006. Photo by Hunter McRae

After meeting with bankers Tuesday night, homeowners who surround the shuttered King's Deer golf course are optimistic it will reopen later this year.

The King's Deer course, a key amenity of the upscale King's Deer development in Monument, closed abruptly last week after owners entered into default on their loan. The course was taken over by Nebraska-based Exchange Bank, which held the loan.

The course will be put into receivership within the next month, after lien holders are officially notified, said John Highhouse, president of King's Deer Home Owners Association, who met with bank representatives Tuesday. After that, any interested parties will be able to lease or purchase the golf course property, he said.

According to Highhouse, the bank said it will continue to maintain the course until another entity or individuals take ownership. Bank representatives said Tuesday it would be in the bank's best interest to have the course reopened as soon as possible, since most of the land on which it sits can't be developed because it's in a floodplain, Highhouse said.

"The bank said Tuesday that it is in their best interest to keep it looking good for a sale," he said.

John Nootz, president of Exchange Bank's Kearney Branch, could not be reached for comment Wednesday because he was traveling after meeting with King's Deer homeowners on Tuesday. Other bank officials declined to comment. Highhouse said about 100 people attended the meeting.

It's possible that some of the area's homeowners, golf club members or others could lease the club from the bank or reopen it in time for the coming golf season, Highhouse said. But nothing has been firmed up, because no one knows yet how much it will cost to lease or purchase the course.

"I am feeling positive that it will be run as a golf course," Highhouse said.

If the experience of a neighboring golf course is any indication, there is hope for the King's Deer course. In February 2013, Monument Hill Country Club announced it was closing for the rest of that season. But it received help from a national golf management company, and is expected to reopen in the next few weeks, "once we get some of the snow melted," Grant Wingate, course general manager, wrote in an email to the Gazette.

Another nearby course, the Gleneagle Golf Club, shut down Nov. 1 and remains closed, according to its website. The restaurant at the course is still open, according to a message left on the restaurant's answering machine.

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Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275

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