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Black Rock golf course sold

by Tom Hasslinger
| November 5, 2010 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - The Golf Club at Black Rock LLC., a group of eight Black Rock home-owners that includes an Arizona businessman who once spent $5 million for an auctioned car, has purchased the Black Rock golf course.

The purchase includes the 7,130-yard golf course as well as the 30,000-square foot private clubhouse and beach club.

The group acquired the property Monday from West Sprague Avenue Holdings LLC, a Washington Trust Bank holding company, it announced Thursday.

"Nothing's changed," said John Magnuson, the investor group's attorney on the effects the sale will have on the club's opening next season. "It will be open and ready."

Magnuson couldn't disclose terms of the sale, but it does not include the marina or its nearby restaurant, Shooters Bar and Grill.

Officials from Washington Trust Bank could not be immediately reached for comment.

Black Rock is 20 minutes south of Coeur d'Alene via U.S. 95 and Rockford Bay Road. It's on the west side of Lake Coeur d'Alene at Rockford Bay.

Earlier in the year, the bank obtained the golf course and assets from its former owner, The Club at Black Rock, through a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

The Club at Black Rock was formerly owned by developer Marshall Chesrown, and is not affiliated with the new buyer, The Golf Club at Black Rock.

The latter purchased the property, which is surrounded by 382 home sites, from the holding company that acquired it from Washington Trust Bank after Chesrown transferred it.

The new investors are members of the club who wanted to keep the resort in place, Magnuson said.

"The individuals who participated in the purchase are individuals who feel a part of the community - they like the community, they like where they're at - and they want to preserve that," he said. "I don't think any of them got involved in it for any reason other than that."

The managing members include Roger Rummel, Ron Pratte, and William Morrow, according to the press release.

Pratte is an Arizona wood framing and foundation businessman who is known in the automobile community for his car collections, according to multiple news reports. He is well known for his $5 million winning bid for Carroll Shelby's 1966 Super Snake AC Cobra car - one of two of its kind made.

"Black Rock is a special place to all of us who have come to call it home," stated Rummel, of western Montana, in the press release. "While the views and amenities associated with Black Rock are special, it is the people who live and work there that make it a community. It is our desire to preserve that sense of community and to establish a basis to allow the club to grow and flourish in the years to come."

Chesrown transferred the assets to the bank because they were believed to be worth less than the indebtedness, Chesrown's attorney Barry Davidson told The Press in August.

Davidson said at the time that Chesrown believed the transfer was a positive step toward transitioning ownership to club members. There were nearly 300 club members, 250 of whom were active in August.

Davidson declined to comment on behalf of Chesrown Thursday as the recent sale did not involve his client.

The new owners terminated memberships to the club Oct. 31, but offered former members the opportunity to join under new agreements. Around two-thirds of the members have since joined, Magnuson said.

Opportunities for additional memberships are now available to interested parties without the requirement that they purchase real estate in the community, the release said.

The nationally acclaimed development opened in 2002. The Black Rock Golf Course was named "Best New Private Course in America" by Golf Digest in 2003. In 2009, the course was listed by Golf Digest as No. 27 on the "Top 100 Courses in America."

Former employees of The Club at Black Rock have been retained, according to the press release.

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