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Stow Acres new ownership?


jdl

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Found out that Stow has been sold to a new owner and am trying to figure out what impact it might have on a league I run there. Anyone have any insight on this?

 

I'm not sure where you're getting your information, but Walter Lankau still owns Stow Acres.

 

I haven't heard of anything even in the works with Stow Acres, but it's possible. I'll ask today.

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OK, here's the deal.

 

Stow Acres defaulted on their mortgage. The bank decide not to foreclose, but to sell the mortgage.

 

The mortgage was bought by Jack Swansburg who owns Black Swan Golf Course, in Georgetown, MA. Jack was also the owner of the Hilltop Steakhouse (which he ran into the ground)

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2014/09/the_self_made_man_history_of_a_myth_from_ben_franklin_to_andrew_carnegie.html.

 

Technical, Swansburg would have to foreclose on the mortgage to own it. Based on the fact that Stow Acres sent out letters to members & customers, I suspect he's made some sort of deal to get a "Deed in Lieu of Forclosure", so he can take it over immediately and open for business this year.

 

Based on what he paid and what the revenue was last year, figure that it won't be 36 holes for very long and there's likely going be some housing developed around the course.

 

Hope this helps.

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I run a league at Stow as well. I went by at noon and can report the following: The transfer of ownership has not completed yet. Swansburg will be operating the course while the deal completes. There are people there today doing things like changing locks etc. Dave Carlson will be in back and in charge of the day to day stuff. Jason (the super) will not be back but his 2nd in command will be taking over and the super from Swansburg's other course (Black Swan) is expected to arrive shortly. Expect tree and bunker work to commence as early as tomorrow. Short term: Stow will remain a 36 hole facility for at least this year (after that...your guess is as good as mine). They are making noises about opening as early as next week. This is >>>MUCH<<< more encouraging than just a few days ago but like I said...the deal hasn't been finalized

 

I'm told to expect more details within the next couple of days

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I run a league at Stow as well. I went by at noon and can report the following: The transfer of ownership has not completed yet. Swansburg will be operating the course while the deal completes. There are people there today doing things like changing locks etc. Dave Carlson will be in back and in charge of the day to day stuff. Jason (the super) will not be back but his 2nd in command will be taking over and the super from Swansburg's other course (Black Swan) is expected to arrive shortly. Expect tree and bunker work to commence as early as tomorrow. Short term: Stow will remain a 36 hole facility for at least this year (after that...your guess is as good as mine). They are making noises about opening as early as next week. This is >>>MUCH<<< more encouraging than just a few days ago but like I said...the deal hasn't been finalized

 

I'm told to expect more details within the next couple of days

 

Any update?

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I got a mass email from Stow the other day:

 

"Exciting news to announce: Stow Acres CC has a new operator who has pledged to invest 1 million dollars in upgrades to the facility. After taking over on Thursday March 3rd no time was wasted and the first truck loads of bunker sand have already been delivered. In addition to bunkers, many other improvements are planned including irrigation, tree work and cart paths"

 

The North Course was supposed to open today.

 

Sounds like we'll be moving ahead with leagues soon, too.

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I got a mass email from Stow the other day:

 

"Exciting news to announce: Stow Acres CC has a new operator who has pledged to invest 1 million dollars in upgrades to the facility. After taking over on Thursday March 3rd no time was wasted and the first truck loads of bunker sand have already been delivered. In addition to bunkers, many other improvements are planned including irrigation, tree work and cart paths"

 

The North Course was supposed to open today.

 

Sounds like we'll be moving ahead with leagues soon, too.

 

 

$1,000,000? Don't get too excited about potential changes at Stow Acres. The entire Irrigation system needs to be replaced. Well over $1,500,000.

 

I hope Swansburg makes a go of it, but the town has already been approached about a housing component on the property. Look for the 1st and 2nd holes on the South to go first.

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I got a mass email from Stow the other day:

 

"Exciting news to announce: Stow Acres CC has a new operator who has pledged to invest 1 million dollars in upgrades to the facility. After taking over on Thursday March 3rd no time was wasted and the first truck loads of bunker sand have already been delivered. In addition to bunkers, many other improvements are planned including irrigation, tree work and cart paths"

 

The North Course was supposed to open today.

 

Sounds like we'll be moving ahead with leagues soon, too.

 

 

$1,000,000? Don't get too excited about potential changes at Stow Acres. The entire Irrigation system needs to be replaced. Well over $1,500,000.

 

I hope Swansburg makes a go of it, but the town has already been approached about a housing component on the property. Look for the 1st and 2nd holes on the South to go first.

 

Oh, I don't buy it. I think we'll get this season, not counting on anything past that.

 

Didn't think they had an irrigation system. Most of the fairways get burned out by July.

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I got a mass email from Stow the other day:

 

"Exciting news to announce: Stow Acres CC has a new operator who has pledged to invest 1 million dollars in upgrades to the facility. After taking over on Thursday March 3rd no time was wasted and the first truck loads of bunker sand have already been delivered. In addition to bunkers, many other improvements are planned including irrigation, tree work and cart paths"

 

The North Course was supposed to open today.

 

Sounds like we'll be moving ahead with leagues soon, too.

 

 

$1,000,000? Don't get too excited about potential changes at Stow Acres. The entire Irrigation system needs to be replaced. Well over $1,500,000.

 

I hope Swansburg makes a go of it, but the town has already been approached about a housing component on the property. Look for the 1st and 2nd holes on the South to go first.

 

Oh, I don't buy it. I think we'll get this season, not counting on anything past that.

 

Didn't think they had an irrigation system. Most of the fairways get burned out by July.

 

LISTEN to what Brian has to say about this. TRUST ME, he knows more about real estate development than probably anyone on this board.

Callaway B21 9* Diamana Kai'Li 70S (Callaway RFE 9* Diamana Kai'Li 70s backup)
RFE 16.5* 4 wood Diamana Kai'Li 80S
RFE 21.5* 7 wood UST V2 Tour 86gr
Apex 4/Apex Pro 5-PW H45 heads Aerotech i110
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Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 2016

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I got a mass email from Stow the other day:

 

"Exciting news to announce: Stow Acres CC has a new operator who has pledged to invest 1 million dollars in upgrades to the facility. After taking over on Thursday March 3rd no time was wasted and the first truck loads of bunker sand have already been delivered. In addition to bunkers, many other improvements are planned including irrigation, tree work and cart paths"

 

The North Course was supposed to open today.

 

Sounds like we'll be moving ahead with leagues soon, too.

 

 

$1,000,000? Don't get too excited about potential changes at Stow Acres. The entire Irrigation system needs to be replaced. Well over $1,500,000.

 

I hope Swansburg makes a go of it, but the town has already been approached about a housing component on the property. Look for the 1st and 2nd holes on the South to go first.

 

Oh, I don't buy it. I think we'll get this season, not counting on anything past that.

 

Didn't think they had an irrigation system. Most of the fairways get burned out by July.

 

LISTEN to what Brian has to say about this. TRUST ME, he knows more about real estate development than probably anyone on this board.

 

Thanks for the confidence Mike, but I'm not sure that's true ... unless we're talking development that's local to me ... in which case, I usually have a grip on it.

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I did say "Probably" LOL!

Callaway B21 9* Diamana Kai'Li 70S (Callaway RFE 9* Diamana Kai'Li 70s backup)
RFE 16.5* 4 wood Diamana Kai'Li 80S
RFE 21.5* 7 wood UST V2 Tour 86gr
Apex 4/Apex Pro 5-PW H45 heads Aerotech i110
Callaway MD3 52-10/58-09 S Grind
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 2016

Instagram Link
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[twitter]BigDudeGuy72[/twitter]

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  • 1 month later...

I went to Stow the other day with coupons for 10 rounds purchased during their "12 days of Christmas" promotion. They would not honor them as the last owner apparently collected the $ and bailed. Apparently a lot of people got shafted with not much recourse? If anyone got their money back, let me know how!

 

Anyway, I hope they do not develop it, Stow is one of my favorite facilities in MA. I like the fact that they are putting money into the bunkering, but they chose an extremely white tropical sand which looks out of place in New England and nearly burned my corneas out from the brightness when I put my tee shot on #1 North in the sand.

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I went to Stow the other day with coupons for 10 rounds purchased during their "12 days of Christmas" promotion. They would not honor them as the last owner apparently collected the $ and bailed. Apparently a lot of people got shafted with not much recourse? If anyone got their money back, let me know how!

 

 

I suspect there's a new corporation running the golf course ... which would explain why they don't yet have a liquor license, as mentioned in another post.

 

The value of your Gift Certificate, will likely depend on what happens with the "old corporation". If they file bankruptcy, the Gift Certificates probably won't have any value. If they don't or haven't yet, you can certainly try to collect from Walter Lankau and the old corporation. MA has very strict rules about gift certificates ... I'd call the Consumer Protection Bureau in MA if you really want to collect.

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I went to Stow the other day with coupons for 10 rounds purchased during their "12 days of Christmas" promotion. They would not honor them as the last owner apparently collected the $ and bailed. Apparently a lot of people got shafted with not much recourse? If anyone got their money back, let me know how!

 

 

I suspect there's a new corporation running the golf course ... which would explain why they don't yet have a liquor license, as mentioned in another post.

 

The value of your Gift Certificate, will likely depend on what happens with the "old corporation". If they file bankruptcy, the Gift Certificates probably won't have any value. If they don't or haven't yet, you can certainly try to collect from Walter Lankau and the old corporation. MA has very strict rules about gift certificates ... I'd call the Consumer Protection Bureau in MA if you really want to collect.

 

Other than season passholders, everybody elsewho gave money to the Lan$au family is screwed. People who gave deposits for banquets and wedding lost their money.

 

i wonder if the "no beer in the clubhouse" is because the new owners have to re-apply for a liquor license.

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I went to Stow the other day with coupons for 10 rounds purchased during their "12 days of Christmas" promotion. They would not honor them as the last owner apparently collected the $ and bailed. Apparently a lot of people got shafted with not much recourse? If anyone got their money back, let me know how!

 

 

I suspect there's a new corporation running the golf course ... which would explain why they don't yet have a liquor license, as mentioned in another post.

 

The value of your Gift Certificate, will likely depend on what happens with the "old corporation". If they file bankruptcy, the Gift Certificates probably won't have any value. If they don't or haven't yet, you can certainly try to collect from Walter Lankau and the old corporation. MA has very strict rules about gift certificates ... I'd call the Consumer Protection Bureau in MA if you really want to collect.

 

Other than season passholders, everybody elsewho gave money to the Lan$au family is screwed. People who gave deposits for banquets and wedding lost their money.

 

 

 

That's not true.

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I went to Stow the other day with coupons for 10 rounds purchased during their "12 days of Christmas" promotion. They would not honor them as the last owner apparently collected the $ and bailed. Apparently a lot of people got shafted with not much recourse? If anyone got their money back, let me know how!

 

 

I suspect there's a new corporation running the golf course ... which would explain why they don't yet have a liquor license, as mentioned in another post.

 

The value of your Gift Certificate, will likely depend on what happens with the "old corporation". If they file bankruptcy, the Gift Certificates probably won't have any value. If they don't or haven't yet, you can certainly try to collect from Walter Lankau and the old corporation. MA has very strict rules about gift certificates ... I'd call the Consumer Protection Bureau in MA if you really want to collect.

 

Other than season passholders, everybody elsewho gave money to the Lan$au family is screwed. People who gave deposits for banquets and wedding lost their money.

 

 

 

That's not true.

 

Was advised by the guys in the Pro Shop to dispute my charge with the CC company, so that's what I did. Will see if it goes through.

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Off topic ...have you guys played Stow this year and was wondering how the conditions are. I currently live quite aways and would play if you think the conditions warrants it.

 

Been curious about the last couple of Stow email blasts that new ownership seem genuinely want to improve conditions (e.g. No one on the course if they have a frost delay). The "No Jeans" policy was interesting...but the way I see it, if they are worried about that, they may also have 'fixed' other issues.

 

Cheers!

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Stow has usually had nice greens, but the rest of the course needs a lot of work. So far they have done a lot of work on the bunkers, replacing all of the sand on the North course as well as reshaping a number of bunkers. Starting similar work on the South, but they are not replacing the sand. The fairways will take some time to get in good shape, but another few weeks and the courses should be in good shape. My league didn't play this past Friday so I'll have a better idea after we play this week. Supposedly the liquor license has been resolved, so much rejoicing if true.... :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

$1,000,000? Don't get too excited about potential changes at Stow Acres. The entire Irrigation system needs to be replaced. Well over $1,500,000.

 

I'll echo this sentiment. I was the equipment manager for the grounds staff not too long ago, and that number needs to be closer to $5M to make any sort of real difference. Just to compete with the surrounding courses, in the next 5-10 years the following needs to be addressed:

 

-The irrigation on both courses needs to be completely replaced (which was spec'd out 5 years ago and Brian's estimate is not far off). Both systems are probably 15 years past their usable lifetime. It's an absolute drain on the grounds budget and manpower.

-I'm sure you've all seen Jason's blog post on the bunkers, and why just adding new sand is a bandaid that'll get washed away with the first real rainstorm (the Ondina sand cleaner was the best temporary solution, but budget didn't allow for the manpower to run it as much as it was needed). 90% of them need to be completely renovated (dug out, drainage and a proper liner installed, reshaped and refilled).

-The buildings ALL require serious rehab and remodeling.

-Cart paths need to be 100% paved with the amount of cart traffic each course gets. Anything else is a temporary fix.

-Drainage on 4 South, and potentially 2/17 North

-Driving range needs to be stripped, leveled, irrigation/drainage installed, and grown back in

-Grounds equipment is well past it's prime and stretched thin with so much acreage to maintain

-Grounds department operates on less than 1/2 of the budget/manpower per hole when compared to the majority of the competing courses in the area.

 

Stow is a great course, and the Lankau family are great people. When the market turned and interest in golf declined, the over-saturation of courses in the area stressed the business out too far, IMO. Long time budgetary constraints and capital projects/cultural practices being put off has brought the course to a place where it's going to take either serious funding or a dramatic decrease in acreage to turn it around. Selling off the South course has been floated around for years, and would likely ensure the survival of the business as a whole. I give Walter a lot of credit for keeping things running as long as he did and taking care of his employees despite the stresses he must've been under.

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