Editorial: Ridgemark stays on wise path with latest change

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Ridgemark Golf & Country Club is seen in this file photo.

Ridgemark’s owners have done an excellent job enhancing the property – and amenities for homeowners in the gated community – and continue to make sound business decisions for the once-flailing country club.

Ridgemark owners Alex and John Kehriotis last month announced the latest in a series of changes to improve the current and future economic prospects for the San Benito County attraction.

Starting July 1, the nearly 40-year-old private golf club will go public. It means both of the courses are going to be open daily for all residents, while the club historically has rotated access for the public and members between the Diablo and Gabilan courses.

The reasoning is simple: In the past 10 years, the club’s membership has dwindled from a high of 450 to less than 175 today. And Ridgemark has been losing a ton of business from a public that appears increasingly drawn to the property’s multitude of changes, particularly its continual upkeep of maintenance on the courses.

JMK Golf LLC, purchased the property’s deed from Fremont Bank and members in 2009 after the course’s board agreed to file for bankruptcy.

Since that time, the Kehriotis-run enterprise has benefited greatly by their vast improvements to such areas as the cottages, restaurant and, of course, the courses. The father-son duo also announced plans to build a shopping center in a dilapidated spot where Ridgemark previously placed its tennis courts.

Golf, though, is Ridgemark’s bread and butter. Now, if ever, is the time to be all-inclusive.

Being a long-standing county mainstay, though, it is no surprise some Ridgemark members aren’t happy with the change. They lose their exclusivity. In return, they get cheaper rates.

The fact is, the Kehriotis family is making sound business decisions that will enhance the entire county, economically and culturally, in the long run. They simply don’t owe anything to the property owners surrounding the course, many of whom once held a stake in the club and grounds.

They have invested into making Ridgemark a better place. Undoubtedly, the latest move will continue the uphill momentum.

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