At The 2011 Golf Industry Show Size Didn’t Matter

Toro booth at the GIS 2011 show in Orlando, Eric von hofen

Just like another golf season, we have another Golf Industry Show in the books and they seem to come and go quicker every year.  It’s hard to believe that golf turf industry professionals have been meeting, on and off, like this since 1927.  The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America and the National Golf Course Owners Association teamed up to host this year’s event and they did a good job with what they had to work with.  The show was much smaller but the quality was there.  It seemed like the education offered was taken and enjoyed.  Lacking was any education for the guys that were taking the Club Managers path to better themselves or to become a Club Manager.  I also missed seeing the touch of class the Club Managers added to the show over the last few years.  For many attendees of the GIS, this was the only chance to rub elbows with the guys that hire superintendents or golf course architects. Many of the other decisions at the clubs are made by the men on the ground, the Superintendent. The show provided a good match for Superintendents looking for purchasing equipment or learning about the latest and greatest turf drug.

The floor of the GIS 2011 in Orlando, Eric von Hofen

I did feel like there were still a lot of guys missing from management companies and from the west coast.  There were a fair amount of guys from Europe that made the trip, which was good to see.  The buzz was that many could not make it because they were saving up for Las Vegas next year.   The college students and professors I spoke with all said that enrollment was down, but that it was not a bad thing.  The students that are enrolled now in the turf programs are there for the right reasons.  There were a few big name golf course architects noticeably absent from the show and the ones present asked many of us on floor for any job leads, big or small.  One guy even asked me the same question two times.

Over all this years show was worth the trip.  Going forward, I understand that there are talks about making more changes to the show and conference.  This is smart to ensure the financial stability of the GCSAA and NGCOA.  Good luck to our new CEO of the GCSAA, Mr. Rhett Evans, working through all of that. See you next year.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Some Top Golf Resorts Set To Change Hands By The End Of The Month

Eric von Hofen and LaQuinta Hotel
In todays complex financial markets where debt is packaged and sold down to the street, sometimes two or three times, you might not know who owns your golf course or home. The housing market is still lagging the economy, but shows small signs of working thru the inventory. During this process of people foreclosing or trying to do a short sale, are finding out that their mortgage companies don’t know if they are allowed to go forward with the process because they don’t own the debt. Five years ago when times were good and everyone was buying anything and everything thinking that it was going higher, big investment firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Dubai World and CNL did the same.

They bought buildings, hotels, resorts and golf courses. Some of these deals were huge and cost billions of dollars. Now just like many of us with our houses under water the investment firms are upside down on these deals. These firms are shopping the debt hard and are at a cross roads on their investments. Many have to sell the debt on the paper and are looking for more funding to keep these golf course and resorts open. My sources tell me that we will see some big name places change hands or even close up shop if they can not find a partner. South Florida Business Journal reports that the Doral Golf Resort and Spa – home of golf’s famed Blue Monster – is among eight hotels set to change hands at a Jan. 28 auction. Dax Scharfstein, managing director and general counsel of New York-based Carlton Advisory Services, told South Florida Business Journal that his company was hired by CNL AB LLC to find qualified bidders for the $200 million mezzanine loan on the corporate debt of the hotel company that owns the Doral property and seven others.
The other hotels to be included in the auction are:
Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa in Maui, Hawaii
La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix
Ritz-Carlton, Orlando
JW Marriott Orlando at the Grande Lake Resorts
JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix
Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, Calif.
Let’s see which lucky company gets to pick up these properties for song and dance.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Who really owns your golf course?

This is a question that you might not want to ask. Just like asking you who really owns your house? In todays complex financial markets where debt is packaged and sold down to the street, sometimes two or three times, you might not know who owns your golf course or home. The housing market is still lagging the economy, but shows small signs of working thru the inventory. During this process of people foreclosing or trying to do a short sale, are finding out that their mortgage companies don’t know if they are allowed to go forward with the process because they don’t own the debt. Five years ago when times were good and everyone was buying anything and everything thinking that it was going higher, big investment firms like Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Dubai World and CNL did the same.

They bought buildings, hotels, resorts and golf courses. Some of these deals were huge and cost billions of dollars. Now just like many of us with our houses under water the investment firms are upside down on these deals. These firms are shopping the debt hard and are at a cross roads on their investments. Many have to sell the debt on the paper and are looking for more funding to keep these golf course and resorts open. My sources tell me that we will see some big name places change hands or even close up shop if they can not find a partner. Meanwhile the poor management companies that are hired by the investment firms to manage the golf courses and resorts are out in the cold. They have no money for capital and have cut deep into the operations budget effecting service and course conditions.
If you think your course is not what it use to be it probably is not because of this. Hit it straight.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter
SEO Powered by Platinum SEO from Techblissonline