Last Update :8/16/2017

Ashley Plantation golf course to get new owner

Ashley Plantation golf course in Botetourt to get new owner

By Laurence Hammack 981-3239

Ownership of the golf course at Ashley Plantation, an upscale subdivision in Botetourt County, will change hands at the beginning of next year.

Runk & Pratt Healthcare Enterprises Inc., a Lynchburg company with holdings in senior living and golf courses, has agreed to purchase the 18-hole golf course and surrounding property from the Bank of Fincastle.

The bank has owned the Ashley Plantation Country Club since September , when it took possession through a deed in lieu of foreclosure after the subdivision’s developer, Ardith Overbay, ran into financial difficulties.

A sales price was not disclosed for the transaction, which has a closing date of January .

In addition to the golf course, the country club includes a swimming pool and clubhouse that are available through memberships to Ashley Plantation residents and members of the public. The golf course opened in 1999.

Runk & Pratt owns two other golf courses, in Bedford and Pittsylvania counties. The company said in an announcement of the pending sale that it uses golf as a backdrop for the “active lifestyle within adult and family-driven communities we serve.”

Also included in the deal is a 70-acre tract, which previously was a second, 9-hole golf course. That land could be used for residential development.

“While there are no definitive plans for development, the company will explore opportunities for active senior living in part of the undeveloped section of Ashley Plantation,” Runk & Pratt said in a statement.

Just north of Daleville, Ashley Plantation sits across U.S. 220 from the Greenfield industrial park, where several new additions — a major brewery, an automotive parts factory and an industrial shell building — are creating a burst of economic development in Botetourt.

“It just makes good business sense to be a part of all that growth,” Brian Runk, president and owner of Runk & Pratt, said Monday.

Golf courses in the Roanoke region and across the county have struggled financially, victims of a downturn in the economy nearly a decade ago that coincided with a decline in the popularity of a sport that peaked during the rise of professional golfer Tiger Woods.

In Buena Vista, the city defaulted on bond payments used to finance what turned out to be an underperforming municipal golf course and is now being sued by the insurer of the bonds.

The Pulaski Country Club was sold at a foreclose auction in May, and The Meadows Golf and Swim Club in Montgomery County is expected to go up for sale later this year. In the immediate Roanoke area, all three of the full-service private country clubs have reported declining memberships.

But Runk & Pratt officials are depending on the diversity of their business to make the Ashley Plantation course viable.

“It’s far more than just about golf for us,” Runk said.

Established in 1992, Runk & Pratt is a health care company that specializes in senior living in the Lynchburg and Smith Mountain Lake areas. It is also part of the event venue and wedding planning industry.

“As a company, our core business is senior living,” Runk said. “When you tie the golf to it on the hospitality side, they will fit together.”

Runk & Pratt also owns the Ivy Hill Golf Club in Forest and the Willows Golf Club in Pittsylvania County. Members of Ashley Plantation will have access to those courses.

Since taking over the Ashley Plantation Country Club a year ago, the Bank of Fincastle has contracted with a management company to operate the 295-acre property.

“The Club is such an asset to the county, we look forward to seeing what the future holds for Ashley Plantation Country Club and the residential community,” bank President and CEO Scott Steele said in the statement announcing the sale.


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