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Topgolf taking aim at Richmond

Michael Schwartz April 11, 2016 4

One of Topgolf's existing venues. Courtesy Topgolf.

One of Topgolf’s existing venues. Courtesy Topgolf.

A fast-growing chain of high-tech driving ranges could soon land in the Richmond market.

Topgolf, a Texas-based company known to spend upwards of about $25 million on its three-story golf and entertainment facilities, is on a rapid nationwide expansion plan and confirmed last week that it has Richmond on its list of potential markets.

“We are looking in the area and getting close to something,” Topgolf spokesperson Morgan Wallace said last week in an email, declining to give specifics on where in town it is looking.

The company, backed by venture capitalists, announced last month that it is searching for sites in small and mid-size cities. That comes after its successful launches of Topgolf locations in Virginia Beach, among other markets.

“Our openings in Oklahoma City and Virginia Beach have shown us that Topgolf can thrive in areas that are less densely populated than we had originally been targeting,” the company said in a release in March.

It said some of the new regions under consideration include: New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.; Huntsville, Alabama; northwest Arkansas; Providence, Rhode Island.; Fort Myers/Naples, Florida.; Greenville, South Carolina; Albuquerque, New Mexico.; McAllen and El Paso, Texas; and more.

For its plans in Richmond, Wallace would only say that Topgolf’s venues typically require 10-15 acres to build and are 65,000 square feet. Most Topgolf venues are three levels and include 102 hitting bays that can host up to six players at one time.

Customers tee off from climate-controlled bays that include flat-panel TVs and tables for drinks and snacks. They smack balls fitted with computer chips to track where each shot lands. That lets friends compete against each other in games scored like darts. Topgolf charges for each bay by the hour, at costs between $25 and $45 depending on the time of day.

Several brokers familiar with what the company looks for said Topgolf’s search will likely be in well-traveled areas with good visibility from main roads and highways. Sites west of Short Pump Town Center, near where West Broad Street meets 288, could be attractive to the company, brokers said. Others see the area near Route 360 and 288 as a potential for Topgolf.

A spot in the city would also likely help Topgolf get the visibility it needs in front of its ideal demographic, although 10-15-acre sites are few and far between in city limits, other than along Boulevard on the coveted city-owned land surrounding the Diamond.

A Richmond facility would add to existing Virginia locations in Alexandria, Ashburn and Virginia Beach.

The Dallas-based company has about two dozen locations in operation and has another dozen set to open later this year in: Roseville, California; Jacksonville; Orlando; Fishers, Indiana; Edison, New Jersey; Las Vegas; West Chester, Ohio; Hillsboro, Oregon; Nashville; Fort Worth; and Salt Lake City.

BizSense’s sister publication in Denver reported earlier this month that Topgolf is eyeing a second location in the Denver market.

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4 Comments »

  1. Brian Ezzellr April 11, 2016 at 8:43 am - Reply

    This reminds me of the failed Target Golf that used to be in Short Pump

  2. Roy Locker April 11, 2016 at 10:38 am - Reply

    “Sister publication in Denver,” huh? Very cool. Belated congrats.

  3. Michael Dodson April 11, 2016 at 3:48 pm - Reply

    And the closing Southern Seasons, the never going to be built mega Outlet Malls of Richmond, and the indoor wave riding center. Has lending/financing for business loans gone back to having a “pulse!”

  4. Bill Murphy April 19, 2016 at 11:36 am - Reply

    Happy to hear. Have gone to the Top Golf in Mesa and love it. Great family fun time. RF chip balls make it feel like bowling with the scores coming up on the screen with distance and accuracy. Rates not bad either especially if there is a group. And food and drinks not bad either.
    I just hope it is in Chesterfield not city of Richmond.

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