West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard says he’s willing to explore any viable option to reopen and preserve The Bluffs at Thompson Creek golf course, but his parish doesn’t have the resources to take it over and run it.
Officials consider the course an important economic development tool in a parish where outdoor recreation is a major selling point.
“The golf course is an integral part of what we’re trying to do,” Havard says. “The only way the parish would take it over is if we had someone lined up ready to run it, because we cannot operate a golf course at this point.”
One option could be implementing a tax increment financing district, though that would require legislative approval, he says. The parish could take it as a donation, but only if someone else was ready to purchase it or perhaps sign a 99-year lease and run it on that basis.
“We are not going to put $2 million in a golf course, but someone else may be willing to put it in if they can buy it for pennies on the dollar,” Havard says.
Golf courses are expensive to operate, The Bluffs more so than many, which helps explain why multiple entities have struggled to make it work as a business. The Arnold Palmer-designed course requires extensive maintenance because of how it was built and the environment it was built in.
“It’s not maintenance-friendly,” Havard says. “It is a beast to keep up.”
The golf course and recreational facilities closed Monday and are up for sale. The current owner reportedly said he no longer wanted to subsidize its costs.