This article appeared in the Kamloops This Week on July 7, 2011 and was written by Jeremy Deutsch.
It’s one of the premier golf destinations in Canada, but financial troubles have left Tobiano with an uncertain future.
Now, a group in Kamloops is organizing in an effort to keep the golf course in local hands.
The group, Save Tobiano, has created a website and is looking for feedback and support from the public.
Save Tobiano is being led by a Kamloops company called Quantum Business Golf Canada, which is a division of another company, Canada’s Mastermind Development Corporation.
Peter Cameron-Inglis, who is spearheading the group, told KTW the goal is to keep the course locally owned and open to the public.
He noted the website savetobiano.ca is also being used as a tool to gather ideas to determine if there is interest in the community with respect to saving the course.
“We want to see it [Tobiano] leveraged for the community and benefit the community,” he said, adding several local businesses have already expressed interest in being a part of Save Tobiano.
“It’s a jewel of the golf industry.”
Cameron-Inglis suggested one option could be for a local group to purchase the course or to simply work with the trustees or a new owner.
Besides keeping the course locally owned, the group has also listed a few marketing ideas of its own.
One idea is to turn Tobiano into an international business golf-training centre.
That means offering a combination of a golf vacation to business individuals, but at the same time offering business-golf training.
Cameron-Inglis said many local companies, including his own, use the golf course to attract new business.
The group is also proposing a golf water taxi that would link Tobiano to other golf courses in Kamloops by an 18-person river jet boat.
The plan would be to pick up passengers and transport them to locations along Kamloops Lake and in town.
Word of the resort’s financial woes broke on June 13, after the real-estate side of the resort and golf course were ordered into receivership by a B.C. Supreme Court judge on June 9.
Pagebrook Inc. and Kamlands Holdings Ltd., which are both companies owned by developer Mike Grenier, owe the Bank of Montreal debts totaling roughly $26 million.
The Bowra Group, which also took control of the troubled development in Kamloops last year, has been appointed receiver of Tobiano.
At the time, the company said it intended to continue to operate the resort and golf course, but noted the process was in the early stages and the receiver could sell the resort to a new owner as a whole or sell individual lots.
With little attention, Cameron-Inglis said the website has already attracted more than 100 hits, with the response being all positive.
The group is expected to start a larger campaign in the next few weeks, but is first waiting to speak with the trustees handling Tobiano.
CMDC is the company behind Race to a Million, a social-enterprise project promoting business opportunities and entrepreneurialism in the city.