Borrego Sun - Since 1949

"Plea to BSR, Part One"

 

Last updated 8/11/2020 at 9:31am



Since that awful day last October when Borrego Springs Resort unexpectedly and abruptly closed the golf courses at the Resort and Club Circle, there has been no maintenance of the grounds and the situation is becoming dire. Besides being surprised (or should I say shocked) we had several immediate concerns: the livelihoods of the folks who suddenly lost their jobs; about what would happen to the trees if the water was shut off; and the health of the wildlife that depend on the ponds for life.

As the summer wore on, our concerns grew to the proliferation of Sahara Mustard and Volutaria and once they dried up, along with the dead and dying trees, as well create a terrible fire hazard; Heath hazards resulting from disintegrating bunker plastic and the loss of grass, which kept the dust at bay and the chemicals used on the course from being released into our air; and a large part of Borrego Springs becoming unsightly, uninviting, and disreputable. Has anyone seen the old Palms course at BSR that was closed several years ago? Hint: dead trees, dried up ponds, weeds, trash and debris, and sometimes used for illegal activities.

Our fear is that without some kind of basic maintenance, or a plan to return them to their natural state, or make true “desert courses” of them, or selling the golf course separately, or even working with some of the locals who have offered to run the course, the recently closed courses will soon look similar to the old Palms course.

Several attempts by S&A, BSR’s parent company, to sell have failed. During the last attempt, rumor is that another golf course in the area was a bidder wanting to use the water rights from BSR to build another course on their own property, which would leave BSR in the shape it’s in now with little hope of recovering.

Many attempts to talk with BSR management about our concerns and their plans have failed. Our offers to help with those plans and maintenance have also been ignored. But that has not stopped neighbors from doing what they can by trying to keep weeds at bay and watering trees around their homes, even though that’s a very small part of the over 1,000 acres of BSR. And they have registered complaints and inquiries with local, county, and state organizations.

BSR’s business model, to make a profit, is understandable, though shutting down a large part of why it’s attractive to visitors or potential buyers is puzzling. But we believe that there is more to the bottom line than profit. It should also include being a good neighbor.

This is not an argument for or against golf courses. That is a different discussion. This is a plea to BSR to mitigate the negative consequences of their decision to “close it down.”

Beth Gramoy

– Borrego Springs, California

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