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Minnesott Beach Golf & Country Club has Potential Buyer
Wayfarer's Cove offers to purchase golf course
January 29, 2020

T
here may be a buyer for the Minnesott Beach Golf & Country Club, and it’s not the Town of Minnesott.

Ed Kujat, president of the Minnesott Beach Golf and Country Club (MBGCC), told TownDock.net that club members met Sunday, January 26 to discuss several purchase offers for the Golf Course. The Membership, Kujat said, has endorsed an offer from the new owners of Wayfarers Cove Marina.

The potential for the Minnesott Beach Golf and Country Club to remain open has received a boost with the likelihood of the sale of the club property to Wayfarer’s Cove Marina.

Like many other golf clubs nationwide, the club has experienced a decline. Several Eastern North Carolina golf clubs have closed in recent years, and were sold for development.

Fearing a similar experience, the club originally pursued a possible sale of the club property – 150 acres including several buildings, club house, boat ramp, swimming pool and pool house, and 18-hole golf course – to the Town of Minnesott Beach.

If the club closed, the Town anticipated it could result in a plunge in property values in Minnesott Beach.

At public hearing on August 13, 2019, approximately 100 residents showed up to voice their support for the Town to purchase Minnesott Beach Golf and Country Club (MBGCC).

The Town offered $270,000, far less than its assessed value of $1.2 million, with a provision to lease it back to the club at $1 per year for five years. Despite public support, town commissioners declined to make the purchase.

New Town Board Revisits Offer
Two events brought the issue back before the Town Board on Tuesday, January 14: the election of two new board members, Kenny Campen and David Gaskins, and several purchase offers to MBGCC from varied buyers.

At the January 14 meeting, Kujat told the new Town Board about the offers. “After the original rejection by the last town board, our members voted overwhelmingly to try to sell the club with a priority of finding someone that wanted to continue to operate the golf course,” he said. “A number of folks that approached us about buying the Club.”

Kujat continued, “Selecting someone that placed a priority of continuing to use the property as a golf course rather than putting it to some other use was much more important to Club membership than the price we would be paid for it.”

After the Town Board meeting, the MBGCC board reviewed the submitted offers, and made recommended the best offer to their membership. “Our board felt that selling the property to the new owners of the Wayfarers Cove Marina & Beach LLC offered the best chance for the continued operation of the golf course and other club facilities,” Kujat said.

“The prospective new owner is committed to making improvements at the course that will advance the quality of play, provide increased marketing of the new combined marina and golf club facility to increase membership, and expand the offerings of the club’s restaurant.”

There were several criteria when selecting the buyer, Kujat said. The board looked for bids that would continue to use the property as a golf course, have the financial backing to keep the club operating, and offer a reasonable price for the property.

It was also important, Kujat said, that the new owners “demonstrated a high level of competency for club management and golf course operations.”

Members Vote to Accept Offer
At the club’s membership meeting on January 26, members voted to accept the offer. Following the club’s membership meeting, Kujat told Towndock.net, “Our focus has been on identifying which alternative provides the greatest likelihood that the club will remain open. It goes beyond just having a place to play golf, it’s an asset to the town and the county and the members don’t want to see it closed. Would we prefer for it to continue as it has over the last 50 years? Absolutely. Membership levels unfortunately have dwindled to the point where we could not sustain the place. The prospective buyers have pronounced a strong desire to take the steps necessary to grow membership and bring more traffic to the club; that’s why we selected them.”

Wayfarers Cove Marina and Minnesott Beach Golf and Country Club are adjacent properties.

Wayfarers Cove Marina was purchased on May 20, 2019 by Wayfarers Cove Marina & Beach LLC. According to North Carolina Secretary of State records, the LLC was formed in March 2019 by Carlos Melo & Maria Melo of Winston Salem.

In addition to the marina, Wayfarers Cove Marina & Beach LLC also owns over 40 lots adjacent to the marina.

“If we went forward with the deal with the Town, we would continue to run the club. While there would have been some savings, we didn’t think we could keep it going for more than 18 months,” Kujat said.

“There would not be any improvements to draw in new members nor increases in marketing which we know is one of problems. With the sale to another party that has the resources needed to make improvements, we have a better chance of keeping the facility open – that’s our number one goal. The new owners want to turn the combined marina and golf club into some place special, we certainly want to see them have success doing that.”

So far, this is just a verbal agreement.

Club President Ed Kujat states, “We still have to work out the final contract details, but on Sunday, January 26, the vast majority of club members agreed that in the long run, selling to the Wayfarer’s Cove group was the best option for the members. I also think it was the best option for the Town of Minnesott Beach and best option for Pamlico County.”

Related Information

New Minnesott Town Board Revisits Golf Club Purchase
Minnesott Beach Votes No on Acquiring Golf Course
Letters to the Editor: Minnesott Beach & Its Future

Posted Wednesday January 29, 2020 by Ben Casey


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