A View from the Board
The following is the latest in a series of monthly messages from the RVR Master Association Board, called “A View From the Board.” The messages summarize recent Board decisions and discussions, and are designed to bring RVR homeowners up to date on issues important to the community.


Dear RVR Homeowners,

At our January 27 Board meeting, we had the greatest attendance ever for a regular monthly meeting. Why? In a word, golf.

We’re in the middle of winter. The RVR golf course has been closed for several months and won’t open again until the snow melts.

And yet, we had up to 50 RVR homeowners Zoom in to our Board meeting, many eager to hear the latest news on the golf course that runs through our community.

This month’s “View From the Board” will provide an update on the RVR golf course. We’ll discuss the course’s current operations, and its possible long-term impacts on RVR.

How We Got Here: Many new residents have moved to RVR over the past few years, and may not be aware of the recent history regarding the golf course. So, here’s a summary of how we got to where we are today.

In the summer of 2018, the owner at the time threatened to close the course if the RVR Master Association didn’t buy it from him, subsidize his operating costs, or support his desire to re-zone and develop the driving range.

In response, the RVRMA Board commissioned two comprehensive reports to help us understand our options: the Billy Casper Golf report looked at the costs of owning and operating the course, and the DHM Open Space report explored how the course might be converted to open space if it was no longer a viable, sustainable golf course.

Then, a new owner came along, and our studies moved to the back burner, because the demands from the previous owner were no longer relevant.

Around this time two years ago, the new owner contracted with Red Cunningham, a long-time valley resident, to lease and operate the golf course.

A Healthy Course is Good for RVR: For the past two seasons, Red and his wife, Julie Warren, have had great years. Golfers love the course, and are playing record numbers of rounds. The course is an aesthetic success, thanks to

superintendent Chad Weaber and his crew. Red and Julie re-branded the restaurant (formerly Pan and Fork) as “The Homestead Bar and Grill,” and it too, has turned out to be a success. The golf course adds value to our homes, and provides a beautiful view to those of us whose homes overlook it. The benefits to RVR of a successful golf course in our midst are undeniable.

So, it’s important for us all to do our part to help out. The Board supports doing what’s necessary to keep the golf course viable. We asked Red and Julie what we can do, beyond playing golf and dining at the restaurant. Their answer: help them communicate to RVR homeowners about respecting the boundaries between the golf course and our homes.

Let’s take a minute to do just that. The golf course is privately owned, which makes it private property. In general, golf course property begins where your yard (if you own a golf course lot) ends.

Red and Julie ask that RVR residents not enter golf course property during golf season, unless it’s to play golf. This may be a change for many in our community who have historically gone on the course to bicycle, walk their dogs, or just hang out and enjoy the views of Mount Sopris. RVR has sidewalks and walking paths throughout our community, which should be used to get you or your dog exercise – in golf season. During winter months – like now – when the course is closed, winter foot traffic and cross-country skiing is allowed on the front nine, when conditions permit, as long as the golf course owner or operator allows it.

The golf course is a good neighbor to RVR, and in return, they simply ask residents to be good neighbors, too. If you see golfers trespassing onto your property or engaging in unacceptable behavior, Red and Julie ask that you contact the golf shop immediately: 970-963-3625.

The Possibility of Development: With all that’s positive about the operation of the golf course, the owner’s desire to develop part of the golf property remains real. The owner has expressed a desire to build a boutique hotel on the driving range.

When we surveyed RVR homeowners about this possibility, nearly 80 percent were strongly opposed to development on the driving range. The bar for development on the golf course is very high: in order to even apply to the Town of Carbondale for a rezone, the owner must first get the support of at least 51 percent of all RVR property owners.

This is important to remember, as the most likely way for the current ownership group to recoup their investment is either through development, or selling the course to someone else.

Bottom Line: Among the takeaways from this discussion of golf at RVR, two stand out: One, the course is operating nicely, and is an asset to our community. The other is that the issue of potential development hasn’t gone away, and as a community, we should be prepared to eventually respond to it.

As we’ve communicated many times before, the golf course issue is really not about golf. It’s about our community:

· How do we ensure its long-term sustainability?
· How do we prevent development that changes the nature of the RVR community?
· And, how do we preserve – and increase – your property values.

If you have questions or comments about golf at RVR – now or in the future – please send them to: boardofdirectors@rvrcommunity.com


The next RVRMA Board meeting is Wednesday, February 24, at 5:30 pm. The meeting will be held virtually, by Zoom videoconference. Hope to “see” you there.

On behalf of your volunteer RVRMA Board,

Cathy Cooney & Gary Lesser

Board Co-Presidents

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