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July 17, 2012
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RVR golf club deal raises questions among staff

CARBONDALE, Colorado - The River Valley Ranch Golf Club, long rumored to be on the auction block, has been put under contract by an investment group headed by Dale Rands of Snowmass Village.

But according to a club staff member, there are many unanswered questions about the details of the club's future.

The news was announced on July 13 by the public relations firm of Darnauer Group Communications of Aspen, though the sale price has not been revealed.

There has been no announcement about whether employees of the club will keep their jobs.

"This is the weirdest sale I've ever seen," said Matt Rowe, head pro at the golf course, on Monday. He said he has observed other such sales in his career, and that typically more information is released when the sale is announced.

Asked if he had heard about the future of his job and others at the course, he said, "I wish I knew."

He said that so far, the prospective buyers have not made their intentions known.

"They haven't asked any questions, they haven't done a single thing," he said, in terms of signaling their plans for the course, he said.

In a prepared statement issued by the Darnauer Group, Rands said, "We are very excited about the future of RVR. We plan on maintaining its reputation of being one of the best public daily fee golf facilities in the state."

The River Valley Ranch Golf Club was developed in 1997 as a joint venture between Hines Development Corp. and Crown Golf Properties.

Crown Golf Properties, an Illinois based company, is linked with the Crown family that owns the Aspen Skiing Co. The company has other golf clubs in California, Arizona, Wisconsin and Illinois, in addition to the RVR property.

Calls and an email to Crown Golf, seeking comment for this story, were not returned.

Rowe said the course has been holding its own financially, as far as he knew, though the ongoing regional recession has caused problems.

"It's been struggling," he said of the RVR club, "but so has every other golf club in this part of the country."

"Times are tough," Rowe remarked. "When people have mortgages, and loan payments, and have to put food on the table, that comes first, over a round of golf."

The sale is expected to be completed by the end of this month, according to the announcement from the Darnauer group.

jcolson@postindependent.com


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The Post Independent Updated Jul 17, 2012 01:39AM Published Jul 17, 2012 01:36AM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.