Costly Country Club Construction Kerfuffle
By Torleif Sorenson on 5/24/13
Donald Trump occasionally likes to boast about how much money he has spent on certain golf courses or renovations. But Trump did not become fabulously wealthy by having incompetent managers throw away millions of dollars. But as Callum Borchers of the Boston Globe reports, the management and leadership at Belmont Country Club have made so many bad decisions that even a college student studying basic project management would have been an improvement.
As the result of a power struggle that would be even more hilarious if it weren't so pathetic, an $18 million rebuild of the Belmont clubhouse has spiraled out of control into a $30 million disaster. If you can picture the late actor Ted Knight shaking his head in a tirade, you can probably imagine the infighting amongst some very wealthy club members, including the board of governors.
The club has already burned through two construction companies, one of which (Suffolk Construction) actually fired the club and backed out of the project.
The initial membership fee there is reported to be $65,000 with annual dues in excess of $21,000. Now, members may end up shelling out an additional $28,000 each to cover the construction project, which Borchers reports has been scaled back by over 10,000 square feet and yet is horrendously over budget and way behind schedule. The Globe quoted an e-mail from a retired hedge fund manager named Richard Grubman:
"Are you suggesting we just let it slide with no accountability as the membership picks up yet another bill for the mistakes of others? It has become an ever increasing point of embarrassment and ridicule to be associated with this project... not to mention costly beyond any reasonable expectations, regardless of one's means."We can only assume that course superintendent Michael Rose will face a much tighter budget in years to come, which is especially interesting considering that the course was designed by the legendary architect Donald Ross.
At any rate, this sounds like a job for Mike Holmes.
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Image via Boston Globe, Suzanne Kreiter
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