River’s Bend Golf Club in Chester was put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday, staving off a tax auction scheduled for Monday and sending potential bidders home empty-handed.
The bankruptcy filing, made through River’s Bend Golf Course LLC, will buy owner Ronnie Kelley some time and keep Chesterfield County off his back, at least temporarily.
Kelley said he continues to work on a plan to solidify River’s Bend’s finances and those of his other course, Prince George Golf Club. That course has been in Chapter 11 since February after its lender pushed to foreclose.
“One of the investment groups has been meeting with me all day, and I am very excited about the future, and the future of golf in our area,” Kelley said Monday in an email. “We are open, and operating as usual.”
About 20 onlookers showed up Monday as the 177-acre, semi-private course was set to be auctioned by Chesterfield County on the courthouse steps. The scenic property has been appraised at $3 million.
River’s Bend came up for auction as a result of a lawsuit filed in May by the county. Localities can force properties to be sold after two years of unpaid real estate taxes.
Yorktown attorney Jim Elliott had been hired by Chesterfield County to handle Monday’s auction.
Prince George Golf Club’s bankruptcy continues to unfold. The lender on the property, First Community Bank, is pushing for the ability to foreclose despite the Chapter 11 filing. The bank argued in August that it should be able to take back its collateral due to a lack of progress in the case.
The court has not ruled on the bank’s motion.
Richmond attorney Jim Kane of Kane & Papa is representing River’s Bend in its bankruptcy case, as well as Prince George Golf Club.
Kane did not return a call seeking comment.