Group buys country club
A group of investors has purchased a 130-acre country club in the region to help preserve the organization and invest in its future.
Muskegon Country Club, founded in 1908, said yesterday that it was purchased last month by a group of Muskegon-area investors, operating as MCC Partners LLC in Spring Lake, with a goal to maintain and grow the club and its golf course into a viable asset for the community. The club is located along the shores of Muskegon Lake, at 2801 Lakeshore Dr.
“Important community asset”
The club’s membership voted to approve the change in ownership after the local group outlined their strategic plan to keep the club active and financially viable.
The change in ownership was prompted due to challenges the Muskegon Country Club was facing as part of the Great Recession, which it said were similar to challenges faced by other private country clubs in the country: rising operational costs, debt and stagnant or shrinking membership numbers.
Mike Olthoff, managing partner of MCC Partners and a long-time club member, said the group anticipates a seamless transition as it takes leadership of the club.
“We are doing this for the long haul, solely to keep what is a historically significant and important community asset in Muskegon,” Olthoff said.
MCC Partners' strategic plan for the country club includes several steps: opening the restaurant and banquet facilities to the public; growing membership; and completing maintenance and renovations of the facilities. Several of the improvements have already been completed: replacing the heating boiler and hot-water heaters, re-paving the parking lot and installing a new roof.
Although continued improvements are expected to take place within the building, the club said the golf course is in “impeccable shape” and will remain private for club members.
“We expect that the improvements will enhance the value of club membership and ultimately increase the number of members, as well as provide an opportunity for the public to enjoy our fine dining and banquet facilities,” Olthoff said.
As the board of the Muskegon Country Club, the directors of MCC Partners will oversee and maintain the Muskegon Country Club committee structure to enable membership input in functions and activities.
The group of investors will not be involved in daily operations, and there are no staff changes planned at this time.
MCC Partners formed in 2014 and consists of several members: Charles Johnson III, Larry Hines, Michael Olthoff, Charles Johnson II, Donald Tjarksen, Harold Workman, Stephen Olsen, Wesley Eklund, Dan Kunzar and Gregory LaPres, according to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Form D filing.
Muskegon Country Club’s golf course was originally laid out by Thomas Bendelow before being re-designed by Donald Ross in 1920.
The golf course has hosted a number of Regional Qualifying Rounds for the U.S. Open and hosted the 2005 and 2013 Gold Association of Michigan Amateur Championship.