By: Sharon Aron Baron
In late August, employees at Colony West golf course were given notice that the club would be closed. The course, which was purchased in a short sale in 2011 by the City of Tamarac for $3 million was turned back over to the Rack family who had owned it since 1985. Unable to make future lease payments past September, they closed all operation leaving many out of jobs.
Days later, Tamarac City Manager Michael Cernech announced at the commission meeting that he was approached over the summer by the Rack’s regarding renegotiating their lease. At the time, they advised him that they were not going to be able to make their payments beyond September 1, and informed Cernech that they wanted to change the terms from a lease, to a management agreement where the city would pay the Rack’s to run the course. Cernech, while in communication with the mayor and commissioners, declined to do this, and told them that the city had met their obligations and expected that they meet theirs.
The Rack’s advised Cernech that if they could not renegotiate, then they would be closing their operations the following week. Again, the Cernech refused to renegotiate and the golf course closed on August 25 and no operations including food, beverage, pro shop and golf remained open and 47 employees were let go.
“Since the golf course doors were closed, I’m sure I’ve had no fewer than 10 to 12 people approach us regarding the golf courses that they manage and their willingness to participate with us in the management of the golf complex,” said Cernech at the August City Commission Meeting.
Cernech said he will be getting a letter of interest out shortly to a number of people that have been in contact with him. He will be getting proposals in to expedite getting the golf courses and pro shop open again. He said there is no shortage of operators out there and this is an opportunity to find the best fit, not just in the short term, but in the long term.
During the time of closing, Cernech stressed that the city of Tamarac will make sure the golf courses are maintained.