Town to buy Rock Spring Club!

I thought that Essex County was buying it. 

As I said, it's a long way from a done deal. The town has just approved making a bid. If Joe outbids WO to make it County property, or another potential developer shows up, or Montclair CC decides it's not for sale, or... 

It's a bfd, whatever the outcome...


gah. I can't even imagine the mess that would be created if they turned that into a housing development.

Hopefully the new project will not involve giraffes.

West Orange proposed to have "limited" development. Not sure what that means.  If WO buys it, they need to maintain some of the tax revenue or else it would blow a big hole in the municipal budget.

I thought the article said that they would have a company manage the golf course and keep it operating, primarily to preserve the open space and avoid development and the need for more schools.

This whole thing is a colossal mess created by old fashioned private golf clubs whose members want to preserve the status quo.  Montclair and Rock Spring merged their membership because memberships in golf clubs have been declining for years, with the average age of members becoming older and older.  Realizing that they don't have enough dues paying members to maintain 3 18-hole courses, they will put Rock Spring up for sale, to generate cash to keep the Montclair facilities solvent.  This is all to maintain their snooty private club aire.  Then they wonder why golf among amateurs is dying.  The USGA gets it, and has made it much easier to establish and maintain a handicap than it used to be.  But the private clubs are stubbornly failing and allowing their courses to be sold off and redeveloped as residential properties rather than becoming more open and welcoming, attempting to attract new and younger golfers.  The end result is that weaker private clubs cease to be golf courses at all, which hurts the sport.  I would love to see Rock Spring owned by Essex County and operated as the crown jewel of our already pretty good set of courses.  That would be much better than condos. 

...And now it's a done deal. Any WO duffers out there?


A nice deal for the operator hired to manage the course.

A 50/50 split of net proceeds plus a 5% management fee (based on gross revenue).  However, the contract is only for 20 months.

"According to the contract, 5 percent of the course’s gross revenue will go to the township and Kemper will receive a management fee equal to that 5 percent. Kemper and the township will then split the net proceeds from the course 50/50."

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