A taxing situation has resulted in owners of Vernon’s The Rise Golf Course halting construction on a new clubhouse and multi-use building.
The decision by Rencor Investments Ltd. includes the current design and projected construction start of later this spring.
“We are disappointed to have arrived at this point,” wrote The Rise general manager Ian Renton in a news release. “The Rise Golf Course has been working on approving and developing a world-class golf facility with City of Vernon planning and engineering staff since purchasing the golf development in 2014.”
Facility upgrades have included a bistro, on-course restrooms, road improvements and general course improvements.
The new building was to be operational in spring 2021, which would have seen the creation of a restaurant, bar/lounge, golf shop, wedding/event centre and sport simulators, as well as providing many new jobs and an exciting place for tourists to come and enjoy the views of Vernon and Okanagan Lake.
Renton said in 2015 there was a change to the facility’s tax assessment for Okanagan Hills Local Service Area. At that time, other than being told there was a mistake, Renton still doesn’t understand fully the change.
“We have been in discussions with the city since July 2015 and both parties agreed to have meaningful dialogue in August 2019 to come to a solution,” he said. “After seven months the city called off discussions and all are back to the courts to decide.”
City of Vernon communications manager Christy Poirier said the city “is not prepared to comment at this time, as the city is still in discussions with the Rise Golf Course Ltd.”
Until there’s a final decision on the Okanagan Hills Local Service Area cost, Renton said, it is not reasonable for the owners to invest millions of dollars when there is no surety of costs.
“We want to make it clear that there is a continuing commitment to improve and expand The Rise Golf Development and be a leader in the community,” said Renton. “Last fall we made changes to the course to accommodate the new building and will complete those improvements in the spring.”
“The Rise Golf Course will be open in April (tentative opening date April 10), ready to showcase current changes and we look forward to moving ahead once the tax issues are resolved,” Renton said.