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home : letters to the editor : letters to the editor
October 22, 2018

1/17/2018 3:59:00 PM
Final update on Ridgewood Golf Course
To the Editor,
Fred Montana

Because of my intimate knowledge of this transaction and knowing, especially in small towns, how fast rumors spread, I felt it was important for me to share the actual facts surrounding the potential purchase of the land that once was Ridgewood Golf Course.

Because of my intimate knowledge of this transaction and knowing, especially in small towns, how fast rumors spread, I felt it was important for me to share the actual facts surrounding the potential purchase of the land that once was Ridgewood Golf Course.

First and foremost, I want to thank Pat Tabaka for his professionalism, courtesy and co-operation which he kindly gave to our team as we did our due diligence on every facet of this potential transaction.

Over the past 4 months our team spent a substantial amount of money and time collecting all of the research needed to make a sound business decision concerning the purchase of what was once Ridgewood golf course. As you may have heard, my partner is an elite member of the PGA of America. He is a highly recognized golf shop professional who is in the National PGA Golf Hall of Fame, a member of the Minnesota Hall of Fame and a National PGA professional of the year winner.

Because of his experience and recognition within the national and international golf community we were able to utilize the most experienced professionals in each of the areas we needed to research concerning Ridgewood Golf Course. We are confident in the results we achieved which were utilized in coming up with the final number we offered for this piece of land.

Over the past 4 months, we commissioned a number of reports, such as Feasibility studies, Demographic studies, Inventory studies, Equipment readiness studies, Building inspection study and of course Golf Course Maintenance & Rehabilitation studies.

We have utilized, at our expense, a number of consultants from the PGA golf community who are experienced in golf course maintenance and agronomy to walk the course so as to collect as much input and ideas on how best to rehabilitate this now defunct golf course.

We have consulted with a number of golf course designers to walk the course, such as Jim Felton who built Deacons Lodge, the Preserve and the Legends golf courses in the Brainerd area and Bear Path and the 3M course in the Twin Cities. The purpose was to give us their opinion as how best to reshape Ridgewood if it was purchased.

Because of our connections, we were able to get revenue numbers from 2 very similar golf courses in Northern Minnesota. These are existing businesses and both were up for sale within the last 2 years. These were great comparisons for us to use. The big difference is that they are running businesses with well-maintained golf courses verses Ridgewood which has been shut down for now going on 18 months.

Because there has been no revenue at Ridgewood for over a year and the course has gone to seed, and is sitting through another winter, our research shows that we would need to invest a minimum of $300,000.00 on top of a purchase price in order to get the course back into a playable condition. Also, we would need to have enough capital to carry us through an entire season of little to no income while the course is being brought back to a playable condition. This $300,000.00 investment is necessary on top of the purchase price, for whoever would buy the course, because of the current condition of the course and total lack of revenue for the past season.

All of this input along with 2 land evaluations of the property and the reviewing of 7 years of financial/revenue figures led us to the final offer that we felt was appropriate for the purchase of the course. Unfortunately, we were not able to come to an agreement that would satisfy both parties.

For what it's worth, after spending a number of meetings with Pat Tabaka I am convinced his decision to not reopen Ridgewood was based not on an impulsive decision but on its very poor profit and loss picture over a long period of time.

I, like many of you, wish the outcome would have been different however it wasn't for lack of trying on both parties. I hope this letter explains the tremendous amount of due diligence our team did and puts to rest any and all rumors concerning what transpired during the potential purchase of Ridgewood Golf Course.

Bill Hansen Realty

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