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DragonRidge Country Club Up for Sale | News

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DragonRidge Country Club Up for Sale

LAS VEGAS -- One of southern Nevada's most exclusive country clubs is for sale.

The golf course at DragonRidge is one of the top courses in the Las Vegas valley.

It is a favorite among players, many of whom pay $250 a round to play there. However, these days, private clubs like DragonRidge are having a hard time, because too many high rollers were hurt by the recession.

Richard MacDonald is one of the few developers in southern Nevada who did not go bankrupt in the recession.

He successfully developed MacDonald Highlands in Henderson and built DragonRidge Country Club, sinking $53 million into the golf course.

Now, he has decided to sell the club for between $12 and $15 million.

It is not that he needs the money. He says his development business is humming again. People are buying lots and building has restarted in the highlands, but the golf course, like many courses these days, is struggling to make money.

"Everybody knows the golf business is not what it used to be," MacDonald said.

Before the recession, people lined up to pay $80,000 just to become a member at DragonRidge.

Those who lived in expensive homes surrounding the course would spend freely at the restaurant.

Then, the recession hit. Several Las Vegas golf courses went out of business. Many private clubs went public. However, DragonRidge remained exclusive and MacDonald weathered the storm.

Now, it sounds like Richard MacDonald is tired of waiting for the country club lifestyle to get back to what it once was.

"Even though they say, 'well the affluent people are doing fine,' a lot of them are, but there are lot of people on the lower tier of affluent people that have been injured, that have lost money and are trying to recoup that. It is making it difficult to keep your dues coming in like they used to," MacDonald said.

So MacDonald will take a loss to get out from running the golf course and tennis facility.

"Quite honestly, I think if we have someone with more experience in operating upscale clubs, they may do a better job than I've been doing," MacDonald said.

One thing that definitely won't change is DragonRidge's exclusive status. MacDonald will only sell it with the stipulation it remain a private club.

He thinks that even in this still recovering economy, a private club can flourish if it is operated well.

He is in negotiations with a buyer right now, and expects to announce a deal in the next few weeks.

Disclosure: 8 News NOW anchor Paul Joncich is a member of the country club's tennis club.


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