The new local managers of Perham's city golf course and country club say they are ready for the challenge.
“We’re basically taking over all the day to day financial obligations of the golf course,” said Todd Colliton, one of the five partners in PBC LLC, who will be overseeing the daily operations.
On Jan. 13, a new management agreement was signed between the City of Perham and PBC LLC, a limited liability company in Perham, for the management of the Perham Lakeside Country Club. PBC's other partners are Paul Hunt, Charlie Nelson, Chase Rasmussen and Brad Helmke.
In the new agreement, the Perham Lakeside Golf Board, a volunteer nonprofit board, has subleased the management of the Perham Lakeside County Club to PBC.
The golf board, which has overseen the management of the golf course for the past 30 years, has made similar agreements with private parties for the management of the facility's restaurant and bar in the past, Perham City Manager Jonathan Smith said. For the past four years, the board took on all of the facility's management.
Due to a lack of time and expertise to run the restaurant, bar, event center and pro shop side of the golf course, the board accrued a debt with the city, Smith said. The board's nonprofit status bars them from taking on a loan, leading them to borrow from the city, to help keep that side of the facility operational, he said.
The management agreement will help to pay back that debt with the city -- once PBC has recouped its initial investment, part of the profits will be going back to the city and the community.
“Giving back to the city,” Colliton said. "Giving back to local organizations, on our end.”
“If we make a profit, after we recoup our initial investment, we are going to be paying to the city 25% of all profit,” PBC partner Hunt said in an email to the Focus. “We are taking over all of the overhead expenses and costs associated with running (the facility) so that the City will not lose money on the facility anymore.
"The Management Group, our entity, is a group of us who are passionate about Perham and the Golf Course. We are making it a point to invest in and hire people who are passionate about the success of the Golf Course/restaurant and bar and event center,” he wrote.
The golf board will continue to meet through the year and will be devising an exit strategy in the event that the private party is not successful in its management.
“We have full optimism and full faith in the group that is coming in,” Smith said, ”and in their ability to make it successful.”
PBC, with interest in recovering and growing its invested capital, is being trusted by the city to care for the golf course in a way that the volunteer board was unable to, Smith said -- the hope being they will be more attentive to detail, customer service and possibly more marketing.
Clubhouse and rates
There are a few changes coming to the golf course’s clubhouse, such as an update to the dining area, work to fix acoustic problems in the event center, and a few modifications in the kitchen, Colliton said.
Jake Vanderbeek, the chef at Lakeside County Club, said that grab-and-go breakfast for golfers, quick order lunches, and new menu items are coming.
“We’re trying to bring some stuff into town that hasn’t been here for quite a while,” Vanderbeek said. Currently, the plan is to change the menu every two months.
Vanderbeek also wants to make the golf course’s restaurant a more personal experience.
“I’m going to come out and greet the guest,” Vanderbeek said. “Make sure that everyone kind of is getting what they want.”
“A new taste to a familiar place,” Colliton said.
The city will retain the right to approve the rates at the golf course, in light of public interest. The golf course is a public facility, and the city will be working to make sure that it remains affordable for the public, Smith said.
The rates for 2020 will be staying the same as in 2019, Colliton said.
The clubhouse tentatively will reopen on April 1, Hunt said. However, the golfing will be dependent on the weather.
“We’re excited to see what happens and wish them the best of luck,” Smith said. ”We’re excited to see how it goes -- hopefully, all the snow melts soon so we can golf.”
Who is PBC LLC?
PBC LLC, a limited liability company in Perham, has been contracted by the city to manage the Perham Lakeside Country Club.
PBC is made up of five partners: Todd Colliton, Paul Hunt, Charlie Nelson, Chase Rasmussen and Brad Helmke.