A Developer’s Dilemma: Tiger and Economy …North Carolina Resort Keeps Ties With Golfer as It Struggles Amid Downturn That Has Eroded Demand for Luxury Homes

ASHEVILLE, N.C.—Golf-resort developer Jim Anthony seemed to have pulled off a major coup by signing Tiger Woods to design the superstar’s first U.S. course at a 3,200-acre community in the high meadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains.But dealing with the economy might be trickier. Luxury housing developments mixed with golf courses enjoyed a boom before the recession, as developers poured millions into new courses linked with big-name golfers. Typically, developers built the courses, infrastructure and core amenities like clubhouses and made their money by selling high-priced lots.”Like with most properties of our type, business got slow. The buyers dried up due to lack of liquidity in the lot-finance market,” said Keith Vinson, a principal with the Seven Falls project. “This industry got really, really hammered by the economic crisis, from East to West Coast.” The development has secured postpetition financing and will emerge from bankruptcy protection in April, Mr. Vinson predicts.
By Dawn Wotapka, Jan 27, 2010 NYT

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