The board of Island’s End Golf and County Club, Greenport’s public golf course, has reached an agreement on a new long-term lease with the property’s owners, club officials said this week.
The new lease between the golf course and the King family trust — which owns about two-thirds of the land while the course owns the rest — will last five years, with another five-year option the course can choose to accept, said Nicholas Mazzaferro, a member of the club’s board of directors.
Mr. Mazzaferro said Island’s End was founded in 1960 as a nine-hole course and originally had a 50-year lease with the King family. In 2010, the club applied for a two-year extension on the lease while the board hashed out a new deal.
“It was a huge difference transitioning from a 50-year lease to another lease,” Mr. Mazzaferro said. “When the dust settled, we started working on the longer-term lease.”
The new agreement was reached in January, and while some paperwork still has to be filed, the terms are legally binding, he said.
Mr. Mazzaferro said the new lease has a revenue-sharing component that will increase the course’s payments to the trust if business improves.
“If we meet certain thresholds, the rent goes up, but then again revenues will be up,” he said.
Board president Mark Schrader said the course has always had the right of first refusal to match any other offer to use the land.
With a new lease lasting up to a decade, the course now has the stability to begin planning for the future, board members said.
“For the short term we’re maintaining the course, we’re keeping our heads above water and hoping the economy turns around, just like everyone else,” Mr. Mazzaferro said.
Mr. Schrader said the golf industry has been suffering in the economic recession but added that the venerable Greenport club is faring better than other courses in the area.
“We’re a solid ship in rocky water,” he said. “As far as we’re concerned, we feel we have a high probability of sticking around for the foreseeable future.”