KemperSports lands two new contracts

Just weeks after the township of West Orange, N.J., approved a $12 million bond issue to purchase the former Rock Spring Country Club, KemperSports has been hired to operate the now-public Rock Springs Golf Club beginning with its May 10 reopening.

And just days later, KemperSports was selected to manage the final Pete and Alice Dye designed course, the Links at Perry Cabin on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The course serving a private club and resort was completely rebuilt from an earlier design that had been done by Dye and his late brother, Roy Dye, in the 1960s.

The contract with the township at West Orange is guaranteed for two years — when the course was purchased last month, local officials only committed to operating it as a golf facility for two years while a long-range plan for the property is developed. (The purchase was sold to voters as an opportunity to preserve open space in the community that sits just west of Newark, across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan.) However, the contract does contain a provision for up to three one-year extensions that the township holds the option on.

The terms of the lease call for KemperSports to make a monthly rent payment of 3 percent of gross profit. The township required an upfront payment of $61,000 to reimburse the city for the cost of course maintenance from the time of purchase to the opening of the spring season — although KemperSports’ bid did request that it be repaid that money. There is also a $1,000 per month fee KemperSports has to pay to fund a contract compliance officer.

In addition, KemperSports’ response to the request for proposals declined to operate the racquet courts (tennis, paddle tennis) as requested.

Rock Spring Golf Club opened as a private country club in 1927. The 6,600 yard par 71 course was designed by Seth Raynor and Charles “Steamshovel” Banks. The conversion of Rock Spring to public play makes this only the second Raynor track open to the public.

Links at Perry Cabin replaces the former Harbortowne Resort County Club, which was originally opened in 1971 as Martingham Country Club, designed primarily by Roy, with assistance from Pete.

The new course (7,023 yards, par 72) is part of the Inn at Perry Cabin Resort. There will also be a private club with course privileges, although that will be capped at 200 members.

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