WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS W.Va. – The Greenbrier announced that Delta Airlines will start providing daily, nonstop service to Greenbrier Valley Airport from Atlanta and New York’s LaGuardia Airport starting June 10.
The expanded air service comes as The Greenbrier is preparing to host a new PGA Tour event, The Greenbrier Classic, July 29 to Aug. 1 on its Old White Course (No. 15 pictured above). The resort also is building an underground casino adjacent to the main hotel.
The flights, which will utilize 50-seat CRJ-200 aircraft, will be operated by Delta Connection carriers Atlantic Southeast Airlines and Pinnacle Airlines. Flights can be booked now on www.delta.com.
Flights will leave New York at 1:30 p.m. and arrive at 3:45 p.m. Return flights will leave Lewisburg, W.Va., at 3:15 p.m.
Flights from Atlanta will depart at 10:50 a.m. and arrive at 12:45 p.m., with daily return flights at 12:18 p.m.
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ORLANDO, Fla. – Annika Sorenstam has struck a partnership with the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club, an equity-based club.
The deal calls for the Ritz-Carlton Destination Club to create an “Annika sense of place” boutique ...
Northwest Florida developer Tom Becnel isn’t a golfer, but he had his eyes on one of the state’s most prominent golf resorts for years.
Becnel finally got the deal done, acquiring Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, which has four golf courses and sprawls across 2,400 acres near Destin, Fla., from Intrawest ULC of Vancouver, British Columbia.
In a recent conversation with Sandestin homeowners, Becnel said he had considered buying the property in the 1990s, before Intrawest acquired it. Now he not only owns the resort but recently moved into the Burnt Pine neighborhood in Sandestin.
John Russell, who was hired last year by Intrawest to runthe resort, will continue to do so as president of newly formed Sandestin Investments LLC. He said he already has seen advantages to having an owner who is just down the street as opposed to 3,000 miles away.
“The thing that’s changed with the new owner is a high level of commitment to property improvement and 100-percent accessibility to the decision-makers,” Russell said. He added, “Intrawest really didn’t have a long-term plan for holding on to the property, whereas the new owner does.”
Russell said some capital improvements already ...
Biloxi, Miss. – IP Casino, Resort & Spa has formed a marketing partnership with Shell Landing Golf Club in the nearby Gulf Coast town of Gautier.
The partnership will enable the resort and course to offer stay-and-play packages and develop golf-and-gaming tournaments. They’ll also be able to do e-mail marketing to each other’s database.
Shell Landing, a Davis Love III design, is ranked No. 5 on the list of Golfweek’s Best public-access courses in Mississippi. IP Casino, Resort & Spa is a AAA Four-Diamond property.
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New York – The Leading Hotels of the World, which represents more than 450 luxury hotels around the world, has partnered with tour operator PerryGolf to form Leading Golf, a golf travel planning and booking service for hotel guests.
There are three elements to Leading Golf: Signature Events, which are intended to be unique experiences; Custom Golf Touring, which are distinctive tours built around golf, spas, fine dining and luxury lodging; and Golf Traveler Stay-and-Play packages.
Leading Golf includes a concierge service known as The Golf Butler to assist guests with tee times and other travel arrangements.
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Elsewhere: Poipu Bay Golf Course on the ...
MARANA, Ariz. - There’s a certain kind of simple elegance that conveys luxury without really trying.
What makes the newly opened Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain Resort work is that from the outside, it nestles into the foothills of the
Tortolita Mountains above Tucson with all the ease of a working dude ranch. And yet inside there is a recurrence of earthen tones, geodes and quartz crystal, woven leather textures, open space and natural light – all of it harmonized to make guests at the 250-room resort feel like they actually can relax in a native Sonoran setting.
The V-shaped building, which opened in December and played host to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, had to be adjusted at the last minute to accommodate two ancient saguaros that could not be moved. Today, those two towering cacti provide a focal point for the view from a flagstone patio that looks out onto three swimming pools and a 235-foot waterslide.
Inside, the new hotel has a 17,000-square-foot spa, fine dining at the contemporary-themed Core Kitchen and Wine Bar, and an atrium-like coffee shop for light breakfast and lunch fare. The guest rooms all have 42-inch LCD television screens, wireless Internet access and deep-dish ...
Reynolds Plantation is dealing with the same issues as its residential and resort competitors around the country: weak home sales and a sharp decline in its group business. But Bob Mauragas, vice president of golf operations, predicts an upturn in business by year’s end and notes that the Georgia development is upgrading its golf offerings and expanding its amenities for residents.
Mauragas says Reynolds Plantation’s business plan assumes that the first half of this year will remain flat, there will be evidence of improvement in the third quarter, and the final three months of the year should bring what he calls a “momentum change.”
As is true across the industry, Reynolds Plantation’s group business has been hit hard. Mauragas said that category was down 30 percent in 2009, and he expects it to be flat this year before starting to rebound in 2011.
“The thrust of our profitability is our corporate business,” says Mauragas, who adds that corporate customers, on average, spend 2.5 times more than leisure customers.
If business goes according to plan, Mauragas expects Reynolds Plantation will start work next year on a seventh golf course, to be designed by Pete Dye. That layout ...
Like everything else in Nevada, the town of Mesquite is overshadowed by Las Vegas, located 80 miles to its southwest. But among golfers, Mesquite has earned a reputation as an emerging golf destination with a solid, and sometimes spectacular, collection of courses.
Mesquite’s lineup of courses was bolstered this month by the opening of Conestoga Golf Club, a Gary Panks design. The course is located within the Del Webb community of Sun City Mesquite.
Much of the landscape at Conestoga is dominated by dramatic, rocky landforms that might remind players of Wolf Creek Golf Club, another Mesquite layout that is ranked No. 3 on the list of Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play in Nevada.
Troon Golf is managing the property, with Claire Varney serving as general manager.
Abaco Islands, The Bahamas – The Discovery Land Co. reported that construction has been completed on the golf course at Baker’s Bay Golf & Ocean Club, with the opening scheduled for early spring.
The 7,327-yard layout, which was designed by Tom Fazio, sits on Great Guana Cay, with views of the Atlantic Ocean or Sea of Abaco on 14 holes. Seven holes play along the ocean. In addition to the golf course, Baker’s Bay has a 200-slip marina that can accommodate yachts up to 250 feet in length.
Residential options at the community include: 248 custom estate home sites, 30 Beach Club cottages, 22 boathouse villas and 100 single-family homes.
Baker’s Bay has been one of the top-selling properties in the Discovery Land portfolio. The company reported that in 2009 it closed more that $42.6 million in real estate sales at Baker’s Bay, one of nine communities at which Discovery Land is selling property.
Discovery Land said it had nearly $360 million in total sales in 2009 and nearly $1 billion in sales over the past two years. Its other properties include Gozzer Ranch Golf & Lake Club in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, El Dorado Golf & Beach ...
SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN, Ariz. – JSH Time LLC has acquired Superstition Mountain Golf & Country Club, a 36-hole property east of Phoenix.
JSH Time is a privately held firm whose principals include James Hladky, founder and president of Cyclone Drilling Inc., based in Gillette, Wyo.
Superstition Mountain, formerly the home of the LPGA’s Safeway International, was developed by Lyle Anderson Cos., which lost control of the property to its lenders in November 2008.
The new owners will maintain the recently adopted membership plan, which calls for daily-fee play on one course while members have exclusive access to the other course. Daily-fee play will alternate among the two courses.
Green fees at Superstition Mountain, which is managed by OB Sports Management, range from $120 to $180 ($90 to $110 for Arizona residents). Initiation fees for full golf memberships start at $15,000.
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HAINES CITY, Fla. – Greenlefe Golf & Tennis Resort is on the market.
The National Golf and Resort Properties Group of Marcus & Millichap, an Encino, Calif., commercial real estate firm, is handling the listing. No price has been placed on the property; instead, bids are being solicited.
Greenlefe had its heyday in the 1980s and early 1990s, but its business has been in a downturn for more than a decade, with the low point coming in 2004, when Hurricane ...
The new host hotel for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the 250-room Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, opened Dec. 18.
The 850-acre resort – the largest Ritz property in the continental United States – is anchored by 27 holes of golf designed by Jack Nicklaus. After the 2009 Match Play, Nicklaus softened some of the greens.
Other amenities include three pools, a 235-foot water slide and a 17,000-square-foot spa with 14 treatment rooms.
GEORGE, South Africa – The Hyatt Regency Oubaai Golf Resort and Spa, home to an Ernie Els-designed course, opened earlier this month.
The 100-room hotel is part of a 316-acre development that sits on Herolds Bay and overlooks the Indian Ocean. It is Hyatt’s second hotel in South Africa.
The project also will include residential villas, apartments and a shopping center.
Aside from the golf course, which actually was built four years ago, other amenities include the Freesia Spa, a fitness center and nearly 13,000 square feet of conference and banquet space.
CABO SAN LUCAS, Mexico – Christian Moya had a sober, almost professorial air, so it was easy to overlook the fact that he was about to get me a bit tipsy. Moya was my teacher, I was his student, and the subject was tequila.
Moya’s classroom is El Restaurante at Esperanza Resort, where he serves as master tequilero. In his weekly tequila classes, he takes it upon himself to help guests embrace Mexico’s iconic drink.
It’s hard to imagine a better setting for Moya’s class than Esperanza, which has been open just seven years but already has developed the sort of mystique that most resorts spend decades trying to foster. The boutique resort, situated on the Sea of Cortez, is the sort of place where the entire staff seems to know your name even before you arrive at reception. Overseeing it all is General Manager Severino Gomez, a native Colombian who, with his courtly manner and ability to speak five languages, seemingly was plucked from central casting to play the role of the gracious host.
True to the philosophy of parent company Auberge Resorts, Esperanza eschews the cookie-cutter approach in favor of architecture and amenities that celebrate ...
Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. – The Champion Course at PGA National Resort & Spa, which hosts the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic, will reopen from overseeding Dec. 19.
To mark the occasion, the resort is marketing a short-term package called the PGA Honda Classic Tour Experience.
For $267 per person per night, based on double occupancy, guests will receive the following: two nights of lodging; one round per person on The Champion; complimentary same-day replay booked at the course following the first round; breakfast; complimentary practice balls; and complimentary mandatory forecaddie. (There is a $25 per person forecaddie fee on replay rounds.)
The deal is available at this rate from Dec. 19 to Jan. 7. The price of this package rises to $337 through April 14, and then drops to $315 through May 19.
KAUAI, Hawaii – The Makai Golf Club, part of the St. Regis Princeville Resort, is scheduled to open in January following a major renovation overseen by Robert Trent Jones Jr.
The resort’s Lakes and Ocean nines were overhauled and renamed the Makai Golf Club. The new course was outfitted with Seashore Paspalum on the tees, fairways and greens; new tee boxes were added; bunkers were reshaped and filled with G-3 Silica sand; and the practice range was upgraded.
Elsewhere at the resort, the bunkers were reconfigured on the nine-hole Woods Course.
The Makai clubhouse is scheduled to be renovated in 2010. A temporary clubhouse will be used in the interim.
The St. Regis isn’t the only Kauai resort that has been upgrading its facilities:
• The Kauai Marriott Resort & Beach Club just wrapped up a $50 million renovation of its 356 guestrooms and suites and its public areas. Kukui’s Restaurant has been redesigned and a beachfront sushi bar has been added. The Kauai Marriott is located adjacent to Kauai Lagoons Golf Club, where resort guests get a reduced rate.
• Poipu Bay Golf Course plans to close April 1 to replace its turf with Seashore Paspalum. Poipu Bay, also a ...
LELAND, N.C. – Cape Fear National at Brunswick Forest, a daily-fee course designed by Tim Cate, is scheduled to open Nov. 28 in this coastal town near Wilmington.
Cate moved more than 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt in constructing the course. The layout stretches to 7,217 yards and greens average 8,500 square feet.
Green fees range from $50 for Brunswick Forest residents to $75 for nonresidents. Those fees include carts.
Cape Fear National is managed by KemperSports and is part of the Brunswick Isles Golf Trail, a collection of courses that totals 450 golf holes and stretches from Leland down to North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
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AVENTURA, Fla. – The Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort & Club has entered into new partnerships to bolster the fitness, training and rehabilitation services for the club’s members and resort guests.
Pete Bommarito, president of Bommarito Performance Systems, will oversee all of the fitness programs at the resort’s Willow Stream Spa. Bommarito has a lengthy client list of professional athletes in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball and several other sports.
The partnership also includes Dr. Matthew Cooper, a certified chiropractic sports physician ...
There are two kinds of people who smoke cigars, according to Jeff Wallace, the assistant food and beverage manager at Pebble Beach Resorts: “Those who know what they want, and those who have absolutely no idea.”
Pebble Beach generally caters to the former group, but there are times, particularly during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, when the latter group (oftentimes 20- and 30-somethings, including a surprising number of women) gathers in numbers, and the staff’s “Cigar 101” training comes in handy. Here are some of Wallace’s suggestions for those golfers who don’t know your ash from your tip.
Start off easy
“The biggest concern with the novice or very occasional smoker is: Can they walk after [smoking our recommended cigar]? Is it too strong for them? Will they wake up with a headache after a cigar and two drinks? If you only smoke a cigar every three months, even a medium or mild cigar can give you a rush. With the smaller, sweeter cigars, you can smoke them in 20 minutes instead of an hour or more, and you don’t feel like you have to have a single-malt scotch or cognac with it. You ...