EL PASO, Texas -- A local real estate developer has made an offer to purchase El Paso's signature, but financially-troubled public golf course that was shuttered by the city last week amid the economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Butterfield Trail Golf Club, which was being subsidized by local government at the cost of at least $1 million per year since it opened in 2007, is set to permanently cease operations on May 31.
But developer Russell Hanson stepped forward earlier this week with an offer to purchase the golf course that city officials are reviewing. A copy of the offer submitted to the city was obtained by ABC-7 and can be viewed at the bottom of this article.
Hanson has spent decades in the El Paso real estate development scene, operating Hanson Asset Management. At one point, his Hanson Development Corporation subsidiary was El Paso’s second largest housing developer, according to the Border Industrial Association.
A spokesman for Hanson told ABC-7 that he wants to save the 18-hole golf course, designed by famed architect Tom Fazio, and keep it open for El Pasoans to enjoy. Butterfield has repeatedly been named one of the top municipal courses in America by Golfweek magazine.
The Hanson spokesman said although the city is currently considering his offer, Hanson expects the course may be put up for competitive bids to try and attract the highest sale value possible.
The City of El Paso is facing an estimated budget shortfall of $26 million this fiscal year, and up to $100 million next year, due to the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis - which officials cited as a factor in the decision to shut down Butterfield.