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City of Sierra Vista take over Pueblo Del Sol Country Club, golf course in September

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jul 09, 2024

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN) — Sierra Vista’s city council approved the acquisition of the city’s only golf course Monday evening, during a special council meeting. The agreement makes it the city’s responsibility to pay off Castle & Cooke's debt of $609,711.31.

The company was set to close on Aug. 1 if there wasn’t a buyer. City Manager Chuck Potucek says Castle & Cooke, the owners of the property, were planning to abandon the course since there wasn't a buyer. He says they agreed to push the end date to Sept. 6 if council voted on the purchase and sale agreement by July 10.

The members and those who live by the country club say they are happy that the golf course is going to be maintained.

“It would devastate the entire area of Sierra Vista," said club member Linda Terres.

There are more than 300 homes that line the golf course, and even more are in the surrounding neighborhoods. The council voted unanimously to acquire the property.

"It's not an easy decision to make, because there are drawbacks, obviously, but, but I think really, they're just looking at the overall welfare of the entire community, and felt that this was an important asset to to keep,” Potucek said.

The concern for some is how an abandoned golf course could affect people moving to the area, and safety hazards for those living close by. Terres and Genssa Mahoney, who both live in one of the neighboring communities, says she was concerned about homeless encampments moving onto the course if it were to become vacant.

“There's so many options that can be done instead of letting it go to ruin,” Mahoney said.

The city plans to hire a management company to run the golf course and make improvements to the facility, that's currently losing $360,000 a year.

“It's very difficult for any golf course to make money," Potucek said. "So that is going to be the challenge that we have with the management company going forward.”

He said Paradigm Golf Group is the company they are looking to contract with. He also says they are willing to take the current financial loss the country club is experiencing, instead of having the taxpayers pay for the loss.

Terres says success can come by lining up the right management.

"I think it has a heck of a lot of potential," she said. "It just, it just hasn't been utilized as it should.”

Tournaments at the course raise more than $50,000 a year local nonprofits, which is why many say this second chance can drive success for Sierra Vista’s economy.

"I think it's a great future here for PDS,” Terres said.

But Mahoney hopes the community supports the club through these changes.

“I would love for Sierra Vista to come out and experience this golf course," she said. "We always hear there's not enough, anything to do in Sierra Vista. This is a place to come out and enjoy. You can't beat this.”

The City is in a 30-day public comment phase and is using the time to further assess the property. They will officially take over operations on Sept. 6.

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Alexis Ramanjulu is a reporter in Cochise County for KGUN 9. She began her journalism career reporting for the Herald/Review in Sierra Vista, which she also calls home. Share your story ideas with Alexis by emailing alexis.ramanjulu@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook.