Investors agree to buy St. Francisville's Bluffs Golf Resort, envision 'community that everyone will love to live in' _lowres


A pair of local attorneys said they have a written agreement to buy The Bluffs Golf Resort in St. Francisville, a deal that should close at the end of the month.

A limited liability corporation headed by Kenneth M. Carter, who has lived in The Bluffs for the past 10 years, and another group, Dodson and Son Properties led by Richard “Jerry” Dodson, has struck a deal with Claude Penn to buy the 18-hole golf course, the clubhouse and several adjoining tracts of land. The group also will have an option to buy an undeveloped 118-acre tract that fronts the golf course and has been approved for a 121-lot planned unit development.

“This is a community that everyone will love to live in,” Carter said. “This will be one of the most desirable, smart communities in the region.”

Dodson said Carter was leading the effort to buy the golf course and deferred comments to him. “We’re looking forward to acquiring this,” Dodson said.

Carter said there are several ideas being considered for the The Bluffs, such as building a retirement village or a conference center, which could host weddings and other events. Improving the golf course to make it one of the “top 30 or so courses in the country” is also in the works.

“There are several ideas being considered that are extremely encouraging that we believe will be extremely productive for the entire community,” Carter said. “But they’re not finalized and we have not yet taken the title to the property.”

The golf course and adjoining property have been for sale since early 2009, not long after Penn took over the golf course and land from Bluffs developer Jim Tanner. The 182-acre golf course has an asking price of $6.5 million, while the clubhouse is listed for $3 million and the adjoining 118-acres has a $1.8 million price tag.

The Bluffs golf course, which was designed by golfing legend Arnold Palmer, has been open since 1988.

There has been a dispute over the tax bill for The Bluffs and if the property is sold, tax liens must be paid.

Carter said the ownership breakdown between he and Dodson has yet to be determined.

In an email Carter sent to Bluffs residents that was obtained by The Advocate, he discusses the need for “further substantial investment by those who have economic interests and an interest in the quality of life” in The Bluffs in order to ensure the future of the course.

“Many will have to invest, as our partners, in the company to be formed for purchase, infrastructure improvements and advertisement,” he said.

Carter said the nature of the investment is being determined, but the new owners will not seek investors from the general public. The new owners plan to hold a meeting in the next few weeks with Bluffs residents to discuss plans for the property.

“This is all very exciting and we’re positive it is going to work,” he said.

Follow Timothy Boone on Twitter @TCB_TheAdvocate.