Gleneagle Golf ponders uncertain future

The Palms Restaurant is closing this month

Danny Summers
Gleneagle area residents have expressed concern over the closing of the course and Palms Restaurant.
Danny Summers

When you go to the Gleneagle Golf Club web site the first thing you see are four photos of the picturesque golf course.

You can also click on a link to the Palms Restaurant web page, which the site advertises as being open.

Not anymore.

This month, the restaurant will close, leaving the 40-year-old golf club a wasteland.

“It’s not a surprise that the restaurant is closing,” said Ken Judd, who sits on the board of the Gleneagle Civic Association. “Restaurants have a short shelf life.

“These guys did very little advertising and the restaurant never was connected to the Gleneagle community.”

Judd is the point man who many Gleneagle residents look to for answers related to the future of the master planned community.

“I’m also very interested to know what going on out there,” a concerned Judd said. “I still think the most likely scenario is that someone will buy it as a golf course and put the money into it and fix it up.”

Judd was much more optimistic a few months ago when club general manager Rick Evelo and property owner Miles Scully announced that golf course would be closing Nov. 1.

But Scully, whose office is in San Diego, has not returned Judd’s telephone calls. The Tribune tried reaching Scully, but he did not return phone calls.

“I think we have a right to know what’s going on,” Judd said. “But maybe that’s more of a moral right.

“It’s is a private business and I respect that.”

The Gleneagle golf course is owned and operated by MCTN LLC, a Nevada limited liability company set up by Atlanta-based Mad River Holdings Inc. and the Miles and Denise Scully Trust. MCTN LLC purchased the 135.4-acre course in 2003 for $825,000, according to records supplied by the El Paso County Assessor’s Office and the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office.

Judd said that rumors were circulating all over the community recently after Donala Water and Sanitation sent a survey crew out to one of the fairways. Judd received calls from concerned Gleneagle residents who thought the Donala survey crew was actually a land developer.

“The immediate concern you hear from residents is property values,” Judd said. “Speculation is running wild. I’ve heard that property values have declined by $25,000 to $30,000.

“When buildings are empty, or in this case an entire golf course, it’s inevitable the vandalism occurs. That is not good for the community no matter how you cut it.”

Evelo has had very little to say on the current or future state of the course.

“There are a lot of possibilities,” Evelo said. “Hopefully we do hear something sooner than later.”

Last October, about 45 residents of Gleneagle community showed up at the Gleneagle Civic Association general meeting to get more information on the closure of the golf course. Judd shared what he knew, specifically citing a development agreement between Scully’s company and the Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County in May 2010.

“(Scully) expressed an interest to turn the driving range into town homes to create capital for the golf course,” Judd said in reference to the agreement with the County.

The agreement, which was signed May 27, 2010, allows Scully’s company to develop the driving range at any point. However, the agreement also states that the rest the course’s 135-plus acres cannot be developed until at least May 2020.