The local news has been buzzing of late about Chinese acquisitions in Myrtle Beach. Most recently, the purchase of River Hills Golf Club, The TPC of Myrtle Beach, Aberdeen Golf Club, Colonial Charters, and International World Tour bring the total of Chinese owned golf properties in the area to thirteen. Earlier in the year the three courses at Sea Trail, Crown Park Golf Club, Black Bear, Burning Ridge, Indian Wells, and The Founders Club in Pawleys Island were purchased. The Sun News recently reported that approximately $50,000,000 dollars has been spent on golf courses in the area so far. Besides the golf courses, Chinese have purchased at least one Grand Strand hotel and the former Waccamaw Pottery, which they bought in late 2011 for about $8 million. Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes reportedly told a group of realtors during a breakfast at the Dunes Club, the spending tally could reach $200,000,000.(Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/12/20/4681281_myrtle-beach-golf-course-purchases.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy.
These recent Myrtle Beach investments are part of a global trend, but since 2005, the Chinese have reportedly spent upwards of $75 Billion on North American investments alone.
Chinese Acquisitions in Myrtle Beach
The attraction is obvious and the equation is simple. The properties are being purchased at the bottom of the market. The golf course over-build in decades past has left several owners struggling. If it seems these sales have developed quickly,there’s good reason for that appearance. The Chinese investors have cash. They see what they want and are able to buy it. There’s no need for a lengthy closing process involving bank loans. Rumors are barely given a chance to circulate before the announcements are made.
The Founders Group
So far, it appears all the courses are continuing to be operated with little change. A group called The Founders Group owns and / or manages nine of the courses. Rick Taylor who was GM for the Classic Golf Group (Indian Wells, BurningRidge, Founders Club at Pawleys, and Black Bear) has been retained as GM for the new group. According to company representatives, (reported by The sun News) Founders Group is an extension of the Chinese company Yiqian Funding, which has been represented in the sales by New York City immigration attorney Nick Dou and China resident Daniel Liu of the parent company. Black Bear Golf Club owner Kang Zou also has become part of the investor group. (Read more here: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2014/12/19/4680182/investors-from-china-add-colonial.html#storylink=cpy).
More to Come?
The investments are expected to continue, but may slow some compared to the last 18 months. While the recent changes in golf course ownership are expected to yield positive results for the area, it is quite normal for locals and affected employees to be apprehensive in the midst of such a rapid changes.
The local housing / real estate economy has been doing quite well and is expected to continue. This, too, should yield more positive results for the golf industry. Prior to the recession when golf was strong in the area, there were nearly 120 courses in operation. The count is now 84. As the economy continues to improve, golf vacationing will also improve, and the demand on fewer courses should yield higher profits giving the surviving courses some needed relief. The timing of the recent Chinese investments in Myrtle Beach golf couldn’t have been better for the investors. Want to play golf in Myrtle Beach? Check out The Golf Director Myrtle Beach golf Packages information page.