Monument Hill Country Club under new management soon

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Members of the Monument Hill Country Club have been informed there will soon be new management in place.

Recently, MHCC had informed members that, for the first time in 40 years, the country club would not be offering golf this summer season because of the high irrigation costs. In an interview with The Tribune back in March, Vic Harshberger, COO of Tri-Lakes Golf LLC, said that current water rates and the renewable water investment fee had made it impossible to keep the golf course going.

In an email sent to members on April 22, it stated that financial costs imposed on the country club by the Woodmoor Water and Sanitation District are “unsustainable without significant changes in the business model and rate structure of the country club and WWSD.” Harshberger said in the email that after four years it was a struggle the golf club could no longer afford.

“In exchange for certain releases we are forfeiting our financial interests and significant personal investments in the Monument Hill Country Club to the bank now holding its loans,” Harshberger said.

Touchstone Golf has been selected by the bank to manage the property.

“It is an outstanding organization focused on enhancing membership value. With their expertise it is now up to them, Woodmoor Water and the community to resolve the future of the club and golf course and find a cost effective solution to water. We wish them well,” Harshberger told members in the email.

He goes on to say that the re-opening of the golf course is encouraged and the future of MHCC is “dependent on financial institutions willing to extend credit in this uncertain environment and a community united in finding reasonable and cost effective solutions to water.”

As a resident of Woodmoor he said he was absolutely heartbroken and concerned about the future of the community. Harshberger is concerned that the purchase of the JV Ranch in Fountain by WWSD is too much of a burden on the Woodmoor Community. The ranch was purchased in October 2011 as part of their renewable water plan.

When contacted by The Tribune Harshberger said he will not answer any questions until they have completed the process of notifying members.

This is the second time in four years that the country club has gone into receivership. In November of 2009 the bank asked the Fourth Judicial District Court to bring in a receiver and remove former manager and minority owner Gene Hoffman for fraudulent activities. A year later Tri-Lakes Golf LLC averted a foreclosure and purchased the country club.

Community concerns

Woodmoor Improvement Association President Jim Hale said the WIA is concerned about not having a golf club. There are approximately 130 residents that live on the golf course and another 200 who are in close proximity and homeowners are concerned about the condition of the golf course. He hopes the golf course can open again.

“We're going to try to work with the new owners,” Hale said.

Hale expects that the new management will work with WWSD to find a solution to the water issue. He said the WIA will monitor what is going on because the country club is in the Woodmoor community and he's concerned that it could be sold to a developer. Hale said there is nothing they can do if it's sold and homes are built on the property. He said there is nothing in the WIA's by-laws that state the property has to remain a golf club and in fact he checked with the El Paso County Assessor's office and was told the property is zoned residential.