DENVER - Denver natives may even be surprised by at least one of these tidbits.
- Park Hill Golf Club is not a city-owned golf course
- Clayton Early Learning owns Park Hill Golf Club.
Park Hill Golf Club, two miles away from city-owned City Park Golf Course, has an uncertain future.
First, you need to know about the owner.
Clayton Early Learning and the Clayton Trust own the golf course.
"Our mission is to ensure that children, particularly those of limited opportunity, are getting a strong start in life," said Trustee and Clayton Early Learning CEO Charlotte Brantley. "We serve somewhere around 800 children a year."
Clayton Early Learning is named after George Clayton, who died in 1899. He left his fortune to start a college for boys, which opened in 1911. That eventually became the school that is now for children from birth to five years old, which is funded through his trust. Park Hill Golf Course is one asset in that trust.
"I think that people have assumed for some time that it was perhaps a city course, partly because the city has been involved with this trust since Mr. Clayton's death in 1899 because they were one of the original trustees," said Brantley. "We depend on that income, as you might imagine, it's a pretty substantial income stream for us, so we're looking what that future should be. We believe that that asset of this trust could perhaps provide even more income than it currently does."
The Trust gets $700,000 each year from Texas-based Arcis Golf, which is leasing the property.
"The fixed-fee amount that they pay us is over and above the amount that they tend to clear on it," said Brantley.
In other words, Arcis takes a loss on the lease.
The $700,000 accounts for five percent of the revenue Clayton Early Learning earned in 2015.
Based on the non-profit's 990 form that reveals its finances each year, Clayton Early Learning took in $13.7 million in 2015, but spent $14.3 million. That's a difference of $516,000. In 2014, it spent $163,000 more than it earned.
"We tend to look at it much more long term than one year at a time, and how well we are doing. We are in very solid financial standing based on our net assets," said Brantley.
Which brings us back to Park Hill Golf Club.
With a lease that expires in December 2018, the A Line stop at 40th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard and the possibility for double-digit million dollars in the sale of the land to a developer, it might be soon that no one confuses Park Hill Golf Club for a city course, since it might not be around.
"We've very interested in hearing from the community about what they would like to see on that property as well," said Brantley. "I talk about walking around the community with this invisible bucket I'm carrying around, and I'm asking everybody to be really creative here and help us think about how we balance our need for income from that property with what ideas there might be that the community would also enjoy having."
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