ALBANY, Ga. -- River Pointe Golf Club is still alive after filing for bankruptcy protection, and in some ways is doing even better. That's what owner operator, Jos Bekkers says he hopes the people of South Georgia will understand.
"We've had some bad publicity, saying we owe all this money to the brides," Bekkers said. Some of the girls started to panic, thinking we were closing our doors. We have weddings booked here through October."
Bekkers said the Club is doing "pretty good," with the bankruptcy protection providing more leeway in sprucing up the place and making it more attractive. One of Bekkers' changes is the addition of a new golf course superintendent.
Bekkers said that Paul Gordon has 15 years of experience as a Class A superintendent with a degree in biology from Penn State University Turfgrass Management Program. Previously, Gordon served as a superintendent apprentice at Annandale Golf Club, Waterford Landing, Bowden Golf Course in Macon and, most recently, at Blue Knob Resort in Pennsylvania.
"This financial reorganization, which included filing for protection of the Bankruptcy Court, has given us room to breathe," Bekkers said. "Paul Gordon's extensive experience will help us provide a better golf course."
According to the bankruptcy codes, in most instances a Chapter 11 filing does not require the business to be closed, but allows the owner to remain in possession under the oversight and jurisdiction of the court.
Citing economic effects of the recession, Bekkers filed for protection July 3. At the filing, the single biggest creditor, Securty Bank & Trust, a part of Synovus, was owed $1.2 million for the golf course itself, with more than $170,000 owed to a company for golf cart leases.
Bekkers said he doesn't have a clear idea when his company might emerge from financial restructuring, as negations with the creditors are still in progress.
"It may be a long process," Bekkers said. "At this point the bank hasn't accepted my offer."