During a tough few years for most clubs, Dominion owners HHHunt
Since the Hunt group intends to retain and, it hopes, lease the club back to its members, club members and local journalists believe the developer is trying to get out of its obligation to repay member initiation deposits of as much as $29,000. Hunt lists $13 million in debts, the bulk of which are reported to be those deposits.
Hunt built Wyndham, the community that surrounds the golf course. The company has retained ownership of the adjacent lake, clubhouse and tennis courts through another group it owns, Loch Loven. The club has “incredible cash flow and [is] very profitable,” according to a local realtor who has listed and sold many properties in Wyndham.
In an arrangement that rivals credit-default swaps for its evil genius, Hunt charges the Dominion Club –- in other words, himself -– as much as $1 million in rent for the land, taking it from one pocket and applying it to other properties in the Hunt portfolio, according to the local realtor. Even after the leasing payments, the club generates a reported mid-six figures of income annually which, of course, goes to Hunt. Yet, over decades, Hunt has made no significant capital investments in the putting surfaces and deteriorating irrigation system on the golf course, according to club members.
Reportedly, Hunt is not interested in selling the golf club. Instead, according to reports, the company hopes to lease the club back to its members after the bankruptcy is resolved. In other words, Hunt will be looking for a continuing stream of income from the very same folks whose deposits the firm is seeking to vaporize.
What’s the old saying? “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” A Richmond bankruptcy judge is going to have his hands full with this one.