Crystal View Golf Course’s new owners look forward
The venerable Crystal View Golf Course was purchased from the city of Crystal Falls in November by a group of partners with county ties. The course itself and the clubhouse will undergo renovations, including the removal of the trees in the background of this photo to enable players and visitors a clear view of the city.
CRYSTAL FALLS —At an average annual loss to the city of Crystal Falls of about $35,000 over the last 10 years and with plummeting membership numbers, the Crystal View Golf Course was in peril.
In the spring and into the summer of 2019, the city began exploring ways to save the course, which opened on July 14, 1928, as the Crystal Falls Municipal Golf Course.
Then in mid-September, Jim Emmers saw the “For Sale” sign on the property, which is across the street from his residence. Emmers, a native of Appleton, Wis. and a commercial real estate broker with a long history in the game of golf, began to formulate an idea.
“I knew that I would need investors, so I was strategic,” Emmers said.
So Emmers pitched the idea of purchasing the property and the course to Bill Neuens, an Iron Mountain-based businessman who Emmers had sold property to, including the Birchwood Mall in Kingsford.
The other person Emmers turned to was east-Iron County native Bryan “Chung” LaChapelle, whose involvement was a significant development in the eventual purchase because there was a strong sentiment within the city that the site remains a golf course.
“That turned out to be a blessing because he’s well known (here), he’s the president of the men’s golf club and that let people know that our interest is not to develop this land, so I think that satisfied a lot of people,” Emmers said.
Two months later, the three-man investor group closed on the property - a land contract for a purchase price of $150,000. Terms of the deal were $30,000 down, 5 percent simple interest over four years ($6,000 per year) and then a balloon payment of $120,000 in the fourth year.
The deed restriction was that the property had to remain a golf course. Emmers said that was the intention right from the start of the process.