It was only two years ago, in February 2015, that the newly-landed tenants of the 70-acre, nine-hole Pinnacle Hills Golf Course expressed positivity about the future of the oldest course in San Benito County, located south of Tres Pinos on Airline Highway. But now, the Board of the 33rd District Agricultural Association (33rd DAA), owners of the property, are calling for new development proposals of all kinds, including ideas that would turn the former Bolado Park golf course into other types of properties.
First established in 1924, the 70-acre property located eight miles south of Hollister was first managed by a small group of local citizens. That citizens' board operated until 1948, when the management task became too much.The 33rd DAA stepped in and renamed the property Bolado Park Golf Course.
But in 2014, the 33rd DAA put out a request for proposals that invited other golf course managers to take the helm. The only reply came from Sierra Golf Management (SGM), one of California’s largest golf course management companies, and current management of Ridgemark Golf Club, another course in Hollister.
SGM became the new operator in 2015 and Jeff Christensen, president and CEO of SGM, seemed confident that improvements in marketing, equipment, food, daily rates and more would make the course a profitable business venture.
SGM’s lease ended in December 2016, and the agreement was not renewed. Now, the 33rd DAA is putting out a second request for proposals that says the board will consider ”any use of this property, even if vastly different from it’s current use as a 9-hole golf course.”
Dara Tobias, interim CEO at the Bolado Park Event Center, said she thinks that despite the recent improvements made by SGM, the course simply wasn’t making enough money. “Nine holes used to be popular for our retired communities,” says Tobias, “but there isn’t a huge demand anymore. It doesn’t seem to be something that people want to go out and do, and it’s too bad because it’s a beautiful place with a lot of history.”
Indeed, the request for new proposals makes this clear, saying that the board prefers to think about a “long term use that is compatible with and supportive of the rest of the park and the surrounding areas.” One idea suggested in the request for proposals is to turn the golf course into RV and camping facilities that would help the “notorious shortage” of accommodations for the nearby Pinnacles National Park.
While the board is accepting all types of ideas, Tobias thinks that “the community would love it to remain a golf course. We just haven’t found the right person to make a solid business plan about it yet.”
New proposal ideas for the property are being accepted until Friday, April 21 at 3 p.m. For a copy of the request for proposals, contact Tobias at the Bolado Park Event Center by phone at (831) 628-3421 or by email at [email protected].
For a copy of the request for proposal, click below.