Club Rio Rancho will cease all operations at the start of the New Year, according to sources at the club.
During a private meeting Thursday, owner Jhett Browne alerted club members that the site will shut down on Jan. 1, the sources told the Observer on Friday.
Employees at the country club were also notified on Thursday of the club’s closure.
Neither Browne nor country club manager Josh Hernandez could be reached by the Observer’s press time.
But the sources said the club’s bar and grill will remain open through Dec. 31 and will proceed with previously scheduled events until that time.
On Jan. 1, the country club’s property will be turned over to a bank, the sources said.
Former Club Rio Rancho shareholder Bob Gallagher said Friday he had spoken with club members who were at Thursday’s meeting and that they confirmed the pending closure. He said he also had spoken with club employees.
District 4 City Councilor Marlene Feuer said she received an email Friday morning from a constituent club member, informing her the club was canceling events January through March and the clubhouse would close at the end of the month.
“I think I expected it,” Feuer said. “I was hoping we’d come to a good resolution. I still don’t know where that resolution will go, but that is not unexpected.”
Mayor Gregg Hull said Friday the city was trying to verify the closure reports.
“At this point, I am not aware of an official letter sent to us yet and unfortunately we probably won’t get that letter until next week. We have heard the same things, we just cannot confirm it,” he said.
The club closed the golf course earlier this month, sources at the course and Gallagher said.
Gallagher said Browne stopped watering and maintaining the west nine holes for cost savings in September. The remaining nine holes stopped receiving water on Dec. 1.
According to city spokeswoman Annemarie García, the city has filed a property lien against Club Rio Rancho for unpaid water/wastewater services totaling $333,658.75. In total, the club owes the city $357,532.53 in water services and penalties.