Royal Samoa Country Club appeals for investors in its 135 acre golf course
The Royal Samoa Country Club (RSCC) which manages a 135 acre golf course in Samoa has appealed for investors.
RSCC Club Captain Fata Suafoa Samuelu Lolagi told Samoa Observer in an interview that the decision to look for investors was tough but it had to be done due to the club's dwindling membership.
He said he hopes investors can seize the opportunity as they need to prepare the course for the 2019 Pacific Games in Apia in July.
“We hope to privatize the RSCC with investors coming on board to capitalize in maintaining and up keeping of the golf course to better serve our golfers and most especially to prepare the field for the Pacific Games in July, 2019.
“The decision while difficult but this is the reality of our situation due to the decreasing numbers of financial members," he said.
Fata said the decision to invite investors was made during its club's annual general meeting which was convened last Friday.
“The members also unanimously endorsed a proposal to invite investors who wishes to assist the club raise the required additional capital desperately needed at the moment. These funds will be expended on renovation works on the building, shower, toilet facilities (and) purchasing fairway equipment and improving the golf course to a standard required for hosting the Samoa Open and the Pacific Games 2019."
The RSCC will not be in a position to make the necessary preparations to host the Samoa Golf Open and the Pacific Games without additional funding, he added. The club needs about $500,000 and a investor has gone on board.
Fata revealed that the Pacific Games Committee was approached to assist but they were told there was no funding.
“That is why we have opted for this, otherwise where will we get the funds to maintain the golf course? Given the short time left to secure the required funds from investors, the club hopes Samoa Golf Incorporated and the Office of the Pacific Games will be able to provide some financial assistance to implement its preparations."
The invitation to invest in the club is open, he said: “In the meantime, interested and potential investors from players, members, golf schools, and members of the business community are invited to invest in the RSCC."
Additional information on how to become an investor can be obtained from the executive members of the club.
A new executive committee was appointed during the AGM last Friday, who will be responsible for the affairs of the club this year. They are Toleafoa Dr.Viali Lameko (president), Lutuiloa Vaiula Solomona (vice president), Suluimalo Amataga Penaia (vice captain), Lealaiauloto Pepe McDermott (treasurer) and Tapunuu Fetu Osooso (secretary).
When Fata was asked how the club maintained the course currently, he said the land mowers and green mowers belong to Lemalu Ray Ah Liki and they are using it for free.
“We spent about $19,000 on maintaining the golf course on a monthly basis and with the revenues we are collecting, we are operating on a loss. Luckily the 40 plus golf carts also belong to Lemalu and he pays a rent and collects minimal revenue, but it does keep the operation going – without the carts and the land mowers, I am not sure how we can continue to have a golf course.”
The RSCC has a 20-year lease with Samoa Land Corporation (SLC) and pay $7999 per annum. But the club's membership has dropped to half after starting with 100 financial members.
The SLC wants to increase its annual lease to $12,000 per annum, but Fata says the club cannot afford it hence the move to open the door to investors.
The RSCC will open its 2019 golf season this Saturday with the President’s Tournament.
“Tee Off is between 8.00am and 1.30pm. Entry Fee for all players is $30. And the RSCC invites all its current and former members, friends and golfers to participate in this tournament and be part of our first 2019 Golf Tournament. Our prize giving to be held at 6.00pm on Saturday at our Club House at RSCC, Fagalii,” he added.