Earlier this year the owners of the Pecan Valley Golf Club closed the course unexpectedly.
Three months after play ended on January 8th, the company that manages the golf club revealed its plans for the iconic course that once hosted a PGA Championship.
"We were never able to generate enough revenue to cover the expenses," said Dan Pedrotti, Jr., President of Foresight Golf, LLC. "After four years of trying to make it work on an economic scale, we came to the conclusion that we simply don't generate enough play at Pecan Valley."
Pedrotti said of the 11 courses owned or operated by his company, Pecan Valley was the only one with operating losses that could be not be overcome.
According to a news release, Republic Golf Course, which is also owned by Foresight and is just three miles from Pecan Valley, has averaged 40 percent more rounds at a 30 percent higher average price per round. Despite their best efforts, they could not attract enough golfers to keep the club open.
But they refused to give up on the multi-million dollar investment.
"We weren't going to just run away," Pedrotti said. "We're not in bankruptcy or foreclosure. It's not a financial distress scenario, but rather just a repurposing and rededication."
Pedrotti and his associates now plan to turn the golf club into a first of its kind golf community geared towards disabled veterans, disabled civilians, and senior citizens.
The Valor Club at Pecan Valley will include a high-end, gated apartment community with 30 percent of the units designed for handicapped tenants; a retirement village with assisted living; and, a redesigned nine hole course that's more accessible to disabled golfers.
"It's designed and intended for folks with disabilities to provide them better access on the greens and into sand traps and onto tee complexes," Pedrotti said. "We just felt that in 'Military Town USA' the whole concept of a community of that sort made a lot of sense."
Right now, the course is appraised at $3.5 million. Pedrotti's estimates his planned investment would raise the value to $200 million, which could also raise property values in the surrounding area and possibly spur more investment and development on the South Side.
Another economic benefit, he said, it would create between 200 and 300 new jobs.
While it will be geared toward the disabled community, the course would remain open to the general public.
"The entire disabled community is going to have access to it in a way that they've never had before and absolutely, positively, everyone else in the general public is completely welcome," Pedrotti said.
The development also calls for a 15 acre lake that would help reduce flooding of the Salado Creek and provide protection to neighborhoods downstream.
The master plan also calls for connecting to the city's Salado Creek hike and bike trail and eventually an Olympic class cycling center. Pedrotti said he can do it all with private funding.
Despite the benefits, Pedrotti admits he's run into some opposition from the golf community and surrounding neighborhood associations, which he said has been the result of misinformation that he hopes to clear up.
"In the absence of information, there's a great opportunity for misinformation. We'll put out what we know to be the truth and our intent and I'll stand behind it," Pedrotti said. "It's a great opportunity not only for the neighborhood, not only for the South side but for the city of San Antonio and beyond and particularly for our veterans which we owe so much to."
Saturday, April 14, Foresight Golf, LLC is hosting a community wide open house to showcase its proposed re-dedication for The Valor Club.
It will be held at the Pecan Valley Golf Club on Pecan Valley Drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
"We're not hiding, and we intend to be available for any and all questions, comments, thoughts, and critiques. We're here," Pedrotti said.
Members from the surrounding neighborhoods are encouraged to come out to the open house and see what the developers have in store for the club.
In the meantime, Pedrotti said his team is working with the city to rezone the property to help the project move forward.