Straddled by debt, the Bluffs Country Club in St. Francisville, long a resort destination for various Acadiana groups and companies, has shut down. As of Sunday, the Arnold Palmer-designed course (ranked one of the best courses in the country by Golf Digest), swimming pools and fitness center were closed, with memberships suspended.
“I have been actively searching for a buyer and I was hopeful at one point that The Bluffs could become a member-owned club,” owner Jim Tanner says in a letter to members dated Saturday. “However, I have had no offers from the members. Due to the current state of the economy, the lack of real estate sales and the continued overhead at the country club, I have found that it will not be possible at this time to continue operating the club.”
Kenneth Carter, a spokesman for a group that includes most residents and Country Club members, said the group is still trying to figure out whether it’s feasible to buy the course and country club.The Advocate reported that the development experienced a boom in real estate activity following Hurricane Katrina and was in good financial shape in recent years. Now, however, it is highly unlikely any residential development or existing home sales will take place on a golf course that is not operating, especially in the current economic environment.
“We haven’t arrived at that point yet,” Carter said Sunday. “We hope to do that at some point this week.”