The owners of Sun Dance Golf Course, located northwest of Spokane, have negotiated a sale of the course to Spokane couple Ron and Jill McIntire.
The McIntires plan to keep Sun Dance, located at 9725 N. Nine Mile Road, open, and hope to convert it to a golf resort, possibly by building a new lodge, clubhouse, and restaurant, says Ron McIntire. He declines for now to disclose the dollar value of the sale, which likely will be completed within about six months.
Sun Dance employs up to 35 people during its peak season, says Peggy Jones, who owns the golf course with her four children. The McIntires plan to retain those employees, Ron McIntire says.
Jones, who has owned Sun Dance with other family members since the 1970s, began considering selling it last fall when the books werent balancing, she says. She says that Sun Dance has struggled in recent years to compete with courses owned by the city of Spokane and Spokane County.
Im just one person, and they have several courses where they can sell tickets at a reduced price, Jones says. So many new courses have opened since we first took over Sun Dance, and theres not enough golfers to support all the courses.
The McIntires, who also own a Spokane-based company called Spokanebyowner.com Inc., began considering buying the course when rumors circulated that the buyer could be a residential developer, McIntire says. Before McIntire graduated from high school, he worked at Sun Dance for Ken Johnston, who was Jones first husband and co-owner of the course. McIntire, who is a certified arborist, didnt want to see the course demolished for a new housing development. The McIntires, who own a house just north of the course, also didnt want to see property values fall if the course was converted to some other use, he says.
We couldnt bear to see a large development corporation come in and destroy the legacy that Ken left at the course, McIntire says.
Jones says the course opened in 1963, and she and Johnston bought it in 1977. Johnston was the golf professional there while Jones ran the restaurant. Johnston died in 1997, leaving Jones and her children as its owners. Jones married Marv Jones in 2000.
Sun Dance is an 18-hole, 6,257-yard course with a driving range. It includes a pro shop and an adjacent, larger building that houses a restaurant and lounge. Its open seven days a week, from March to November.
Contact Emily Brandler at (509) 344-1265 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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