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RR golf course headed to auction block

Chamisa Hills Country Club Golf Course.
Chamisa Hills Country Club Golf Course.
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Copyright 2013 Albuquerque Journal

FOR THE RECORD: This story gave an incorrect amount for the recycled water rate increase the golf course will experience. When its current contract with the city expires in mid-2014, the golf courses’s rate will increase from 47 cents per 1,000 gallons to $3.28 per 1,000 gallons.

RIO RANCHO – Faced with a huge water-rate increase, the owner of Rio Rancho’s only golf course is putting the property up for sale.

Colorado-based NavPoint Real Estate Group has listed Chamisa Hills Golf and Country Club for auction on May 29 with a minimum bid set at $850,000.

The company’s website www.navpointre.com says the 235.5-acre property includes the 27-hole golf course, clubhouse, six tennis courts, liquor license and surplus land parcels that could be residential development.

Chamisa Hills Golf Course and Country Club owner Harry Apodaca said he’s still hoping to get additional financing to keep the resort running but

it’s losing money and he expects the annual water bill to jump from $160,000 to about $635,000 under a new rate structure.

Rio Rancho approved rate changes in January that will raise the price of the recycled water Chamisa uses for irrigation from 47 cents per 1,000 gallons to $2.30 per 1,000 gallons in June 2014, when the club’s current contract expires.

“That’s probably the biggest factor we have -not being able to see the future with the water-rate increase,” Apodaca said.

Councilors Chuck Wilkins, Mark Scott and Lonnie Clayton have said the city urgently needs money to fix its aging water-pipeline network. Rates for potable water for utility customers rose 8.8 percent in February.

The golf course was opened in 1970 by AMREP as an attraction to sell Rio Rancho to prospective buyers. As Rio Rancho Country Club it changed ownership several times and in 2002 then-owner Golf Club of Nevada filed for bankruptcy protection.

A partnership including Apodaca bought it for $1.8 million and invested about $4 million to renovate it, reducing the irrigated area from more than 200 acres to about 160 acres, Apodaca said.

Chamisa Hills made headlines a few years ago when wildfowl deaths were linked to botulism in the golf course ponds. The controversy spurred a legal dispute with the city which held the permit for the recycled water Chamisa Hills used for irrigation. The golf club and city settled the case amicably in 2010.

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