Club West Golf Course owner Richard Breuninger has a message for anyone who cares about the troubled site:
“I have not been dishonest. I’m not running away from anything.”
In a wide-ranging interview with AFN, Breuninger gave his account of his stewardship of the course, stating he’s working to save it and his ownership of it.
“I made a bad hire and it didn’t work out,” he said, referring to his selection of Christa Jones as general manager.
Stating he was as much in the dark about her handling of the course’s business affairs through Club West Golf Management LLC as the other principal, investor William Day had been, Breuninger also said he was blindsided when he bought the course and discovered $242,000 in unpaid water bills and $102,000 in back property taxes.
Breuninger said he is not only working at the course every day – along with his mother, a pared-down staff and several relatives – but that he is also still trying to secure financing to stabilize the course’s financial situation and implement his vision for the course.
His first order of business, he said, is to make sure his “dearest friend” Lloyd Melton can reopen Biscuits Restaurant at the Club West Clubhouse quickly – possibly later this week.
“I want to do right by Lloyd, the people who bought memberships and everyone else,” he said, adding:
“At this point, I want to do what the community wants. I wanted to be part of the solution from the start. Ahwatukee is my home. I’m not trying to be a martyr. I love that golf course.”
He also said, “There are more people interested in our success from a homeowner’s standpoint than those who are interested in a golf course. They want green grass.”
Breuninger detailed the unexpected problems that began even as he was about to sign a zero-money-down lease-purchase agreement with former owner Wilson Gee for $1.3 million at a payback rate of $35,000 a month.
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