Sale of Manitoulin Island Country Club now official

GORDON-BARRIE ISLAND—The change of ownership of the Manitoulin Island Country Club (MICC) from Gordon/Barrie Island Township to Manitoulin Transport is now official.

“The final agreement has been signed and has gone back to the lawyers,” said Lee Hayden, reeve of Gordon/Barrie Island Township last week.

A Manitoulin Transport release states, “the sale of the Manitoulin Island Country Club (MICC) is now official. The new owner is an entity of the Manitoulin Transport Group of Companies which will be taking possession November 30.”

“From my standpoint it was really good that the municipality (Gordon/Barrie Island) took over the golf course when it did in 2012 to continue its operations,” said Gord Smith of Manitoulin Transport. “They’ve been able to keep it running, but MICC needs hundreds of thousands of dollars invested into it for things like its septic system and new equipment as most is reaching the end of its life. The municipality didn’t have the wherewithal to do all of this, so we decided to step up and take over the business to keep it  operating.”

“Our intent is to continue to run the MICC as a golf course open to the public,” continued Mr. Smith. “We would like to give favourable pricing to our employees that we feel could be a nice perk for them. We still have to work out these details and how we are going to put this together, but either a discount membership or a discount for pay as you play (golf). Playing golf encourages fitness and well being.”

“Yes, we want the Manitoulin Island Country Club to remain a golf course for the foreseeable future,” said Mr. Smith. “It is an important asset and benefit for the Western Manitoulin area and its residents.”

“We hope current staff at the MICC will stay on with our business and work through the transition with us,” continued Mr. Smith.

Mr. Smith added, “in the next year we are going to fix the septic system and start purchasing new equipment. We would like to start investing in the business as soon as we can.”

“It is a wonderful course and clubhouse and its existence is of great benefit to local residents and visitors alike,” said Mr. Smith.

As was reported earlier this year, current and charter members of the MICC had, by a very large majority vote, decided not to exercise their first right of refusal and allow for the sale of the MICC with the condition that it be sold to a Manitoulin Transport entity.

In the fall of 2012 the MICC members met where a motion was made to transfer the golf course over to the municipality of Gordon/Barrie Island with approximately $70,000-75,000 in loans outstanding. When the course was transferred one of the stipulations was for the MICC members to consider the first right of refusal if the township did not want to continue operating the golf course; and the membership had the option of buying it back.

At a recent meeting attended by approximately 70 club members, the club members voted by majority, except for one vote in opposition and two abstaining, to not exercise their first right of refusal and allow for the sale of MICC with the condition that it be sold to a Manitoulin Transport entity.