The Painted Hills Golf Course in Spokane Valley is under new ownership, but that doesn’t end the uncertainty about its fate.
Dave Black of Black Realty Inc. submitted the only bid in a trustee’s auction Friday at the Spokane County Courthouse, taking possession for $1.1 million. “We were prepared to go much higher,” he said.
The golf course at 4402 S. Dishman-Mica Road was put up for auction after the owners filed for bankruptcy last year. The course was sold to satisfy a debt of $797,000 to American West Bank. The course never opened this year and wasn’t fully maintained.
Black said he has no firm plans for the 9-hole golf course that also has a short par 3 course. He also bought the golf course equipment, minus the golf carts, for $30,000. Black said he needs to determine the highest and best use for the property, which may or may not be as a golf course.
The City of Spokane Valley briefly considered buying the property after a group of neighbors pleaded with the city to save it. But the Parks and Recreation Department Director said the city didn’t have the expertise to run a golf course and recommended turning it into a park. The council agreed not to get involved in the auction after local oral surgeon Mark Paxton said he led a group of investors interested in buying the property and maintaining it as a golf course.
“We’ll probably be getting together with him and other interested parties,” Black said.
Paxton, who attended Friday’s auction, said his group of private citizens couldn’t afford to top Black’s initial bid. “We were all set to bid,” he said. “It was outside our budget range.”
He looks forward to discussing options with Black, Paxton said. His group is prepared to step in and run the golf course if a deal can be arranged. “We are still trying to run it as a golf course,” he said. “We have a team in place. We could open it tomorrow. We haven’t given up yet.”