Westwood CC deal is wrapped up

March 21, 2012 Updated Mar 21, 2012 at 7:33 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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March 21, 2012 Updated Mar 21, 2012 at 7:33 AM EDT

The sale of the financially-ailing Westwood Country Club has been completed, with the new owners promising a stable future of the venerable Town of Amherst facility.

In a two-pronged deal, the shareholders of the Westwood Country Club sold the 180-acre North Forest Road property, which includes an 18-hole golf course and historic clubhouse, to Culinary Productions Inc., who in turn, sold the club to Mensch Capital Partners LLC. The latter is a partnership headed by Andrew Shaevel, Paul Ciminelli and Paul Kolkmeyer. Mensch has retained Culinary Productions, headed by businessmen Todd Sugarman and Jon Cohen, to run the Westwood under the terms of a long-term agreement.

The club sold for $2.5 million. It was approved by the Westwood's shareholders in early December, 68-10.

"We have a strong belief in the Westwood as a business opportunity," Shaevel said.

The Westwood, through an aggressive marketing campaign, has slightly more than 300 members, up more than 100 that it had last fall. The club's target is at least 350 members.

A special promotion allows people to join the club for $3,200 as a single member or $3,500 under a family package. The deal includes greens fees, carts and other perks.

The Westwood will remain a private club for two years as its new owners attempt to add more members. Cohen said he plans several major renovations and upgrades to the club. Cohen, owner of Jonny C's Deli and Catering, has been running the food, beverage and concessions operations at the Westwood for the past three years.

"The club, if entrepreneurially managed, has a long future," Shaevel said. "The idea is to keep it as a golf course. That's our objective."

Mensch Capital Partners were brought into the Westwood picture as Windows on the Green's original financing partner, developer John Yurtchuk, withdrew from the deal in late November, citing a number of concerns.

"Someone needed to step up and that was us," Shaevel said. "We all thought this was a good business opportunity."

The Windows on the Green offer was chosen over ones submitted by Amherst Golf Partners and Snyder Corp. Snyder Corp. offered $3.5 million and wanted the club to serve as the backdrop for a proposed $25 million development that would have included the construction of a Hyatt hotel.

The Westwood Country Club was founded in 1945.

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