By Tiffany L. Rehbein
Beaver Creek Golf Course has been sold, and with the new ownership comes a new look that includes an indoor golf simulator, driving range and putting green.
We will make upgrades as time and weather permit, said Max Erickson, new owner of the course.
One of the first changes on tap will be the reopening of the restaurant and bar, which are located upstairs off the main foyer.
Currently, interviews are being conducted to find a chef who has graduated from culinary school.
Although an exact date for the restaurant to open was not disclosed, Erickson said that the 1999 holiday season would be a good time. Plans include the restaurant to be open six days a week, beginning with lunch and a dinner service, and closed Monday.
A lot of this is down the road, Erickson said. But these are definitely improvements wed like to make.
Off the stairs leading to the restaurant, to the left is a small meeting room that will remain. Some remodeling, for example, replacing the brown and cream carpet, will take place throughout the building that is more than 77,000 total square feet.
Off the stairs to the right, the restaurant, which has been closed for at least 10 years, includes full table seating and has some booths along one wall and a fireplace.
Looking west, an expansive view of the golf course with the hazy Bear Paw Mountains looming in the background can be seen.
Downstairs, aged mens and womens locker rooms are currently being remodeled to make room for the indoor golf simulator, putting green and driving range. More than 1,000 square feet will be put to use, hopefully, by November, Erickson said.
We live in Montana and you cant get outside in the cold. This is a chance to golf year-round, Erickson said.
The golf simulator will have 35-40 different courses on it, including courses like Pebble Beach.
This is a great teaching tool, Erickson said. More people are playing golf; its the fastest growing sport in the world right now.
The outdated workout equipment and lockers, among other things, will be sold at a large rummage sale after the remodeling is complete.
Three racquetball courts will remain unused.
Other immediate remodeling choices include updating the two bathrooms located immediately off the foyer downstairs, updating the bathroom upstairs, and upgrading and begin using two additional bathrooms. With the updates might come wheelchair accessibility.
The pro shop will still offer a wide variety of apparel and equipment.
A full liquor and gambling license is currently in the process of being transferred.
Outside, a cart barn will be built immediately to the east of the pro shop. This will house individuals private golf carts. The cost will be $400: $200 for trail fees and $200 for cart storage, Erickson said. The building will hold up to 50 private carts.
Down the road, Erickson said, he will look to put in a deck above where the carts are currently stored immediately south of the pro shop.
Some course improvements include installing a fountain in the pond and adding more strategically placed sand traps. The driving range would be improved to include more target golf, the cart paths look to be updated, and a pavilion will be erected by the 3-tee box that will have a concrete pad and a semi-enclosed roof.
Membership fees have already dropped. An individual full membership is now $365 if bought prior to Nov. 1, 1999 and will be current through March 1, 2001. The fee was previously $475.
A family membership, running through the same dates, sells for $545, down from $675.
Jimmy Kato will stay on as the golf pro, Brett Gilman as superintendent, and Anne Bruskotter has joined the crew as general manager.
The sale of Beaver Creek was made final Monday, Oct. 5, with Barmax LLP claiming ownership.