The Southampton Town Board on Tuesday accepted a bid from a golf course management company to take over the operations of the Poxabogue Golf Center.
The winning bid, out of five proposals submitted, came from Third Rock Management Corp. of Riverhead, the company that also runs the Indian Island Golf Course for Suffolk County.
The Third Rock bid was chosen from five bids submitted and reviewed by a selection committee, composed of town officials and attorneys.
According to town officials, the new bids took the contract structure for the management of Poxabogue in a different direction than the agreement the town had with Long Island Golf Management, the Wainscott-based company that has run Poxabogue since Southampton Town and East Hampton Town purchased the course in 2003 to save it from falling to residential development. Long Island Golf Management’s contract was up at the end of last year, and the company did not seek to renew it, Councilman Chris Nuzzi said.
The agreements with Long Island Golf Management had guaranteed the company a flat fee each year to operate the golf course and driving range. The town received the revenues from the facilities and paid for the upkeep of the property. Under the new agreement, Mr. Nuzzi said, Third Rock will be entirely responsible for the facility and will pay the town a fee as well as a percentage of profits.
“It behooves them to offer a good product up there,” Mr. Nuzzi said. “The old arrangement gave the management company a flat fee no matter what—there was no incentive to really improve things. They’re going to make a lot of upgrades.” Mr. Nuzzi said that Third Rock has pledged to spend thousands of dollars improving the driving range facilities.
The actual contract with Third Rock is still to be worked out in detail, Management Services Administrator Russell Kratoville said. Copies of the bids received by the town were not immediately available, he said; the bids varied greatly in their offers, mostly differing in the amount the management company would pay to the town and how much it would sink into capital.
“Some were more program oriented, others more management oriented,” Mr. Kratoville said of the bids. “These guys had the best balance of all the options.”
Mr. Kratoville confirmed that Danny Murray, who has a separate contract to run the restaurant at the golf facility, was among the four groups whose bids for the management contract lost out to Third Rock.
Southampton Town has been trying to buy out East Hampton Town’s half interest in the Poxabogue property but has been held up by restrictions on state rules governing publicly acquired parklands. Legislation is pending in the State Legislature that would accommodate the transfer.