Owner, Peter Nanula, ran Arnold Palmer Golf from 1993 to 2000
SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 14, 2020) – Concert Golf has acquired another club, this time The Ranch Country Club in Denver. The owner of private clubs started acquiring courses in 2011 and has 22 in its portfolio.
When Peter Nanula launched the company, he said he planned to invest more than $50 million into acquisitions of private, mostly member-owner clubs. He has exceeded that number, with investments now greater than $250 million. Last August, he announced the company had secured another $100 million in new equity managed by Blackstone, one of the world’s largest investment firms.
Nanula, a Harvard-trained lawyer with a background in private equity, ran Arnold Palmer Golf from 1993 to 2000.
Membership at The Ranch Country Club had declined in the years after the Great Recession, as successive boards postponed capital projects and members began discussing a possible renovation program – and the assessments to pay for it.
The first assessment vote in 2015 received a 60% “yes” vote, below the required 2/3 in the by-laws. The board came back six months later with a comprehensive messaging effort and the second vote was 90% in favor for what would be a $5.5 million renovation in 2016. But the process caused a lot of ill will and the club lost members.
“The assessment vote for our renovation program was difficult, and we wanted to eliminate assessments for good,” said Board president Kristi Thoutt.
When COVID-19 hit, the Board saw challenges ahead with working capital and their outstanding bank loan. It reached out to Concert Golf in March and the company was able to close the deal in four months.
“We never would have imagined that we could have permanently solved our club’s long-term capital needs in just 4 months from our first call to closing,” said Board treasurer Eric Mott, a local realtor. “The process was well-organized and straightforward — clearly Concert Golf has done this before.”
The members voted 304-9 (97%) to have Concert Golf Partners recapitalize the club.
The Ranch Country Club is a family-oriented club on the affluent north side of Denver, 11 miles from downtown. The club, opened in 1974, has a Richard Phelps-designed 18-hole golf course on 155 acres and vistas of the Rocky Mountains. The club has four outdoor and four indoor (bubble) tennis courts, a 25-yard swimming pool with a zero-entry family pool, and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Concert Golf has longtime member-owned clubs such as Country Club at Roswell and The Muttontown Club on Long Island in its portfolio.