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Bank could open Blue Ridge Country Club golf course in spring

Published December 09. 2013 05:00PM

Could Blue Ridge Country Club in Palmerton be resurrected and open its doors by spring?

The possibility could exist based on the most recent letter emailed by the club's board of directors, and management of First Northern Bank and Trust Co., Palmerton, to the club's golf and social members Friday afternoon.

"Thank you for your patience and understanding during this transition. Although the course is closed for the season, we have been, and are still, taking the necessary steps to ensure the course is properly secured for the winter," it read.

"Should the course remain with First Northern Bank, it is our intention to open the doors in the spring and provide a quality course and the amenities you deserve. We are exploring every avenue necessary to ensure this will happen," it continued.

"Although there are no specific details that we can provide at this time, there are parties that have expressed an interest in BRCC, and if a change in ownership occurs, you will be notified immediately."

The letter also stated, "Our intent is to communicate with you on a regular basis and keep you informed of our progress. Rest assured we will work diligently to preserve this iconic course."

Last week, the club's executive committee announced that the course and all property has been closed to everyone as of Dec. 1.

Efforts to reach management of First Northern Bank & Trust Co. in time for today's publication were unsuccessful.

The club closed its doors on Nov. 27. The restaurant closed Nov. 17.

In October, the club's executive committee announced that the "deed in lieu" had been signed, and as of Nov. 30, a local bank would own the property.

That came after John Rehus, general manager, said in September that the member-owned club did not plan to shut its doors any time soon, despite rumors to the contrary.

Rehus said at that time that the club planned to celebrate its 100th birthday in two years, and that it planned to remain in operation for many years to come.

He also said at that time the club's plans for the future include building the membership base, increasing the restaurant and banquet business, increasing rounds played, making facility improvements (wedding gazebo, driving range), and most of all, hosting its 100th anniversary party.

Blue Ridge Country Club was founded by the New Jersey Zinc Company in 1915, and was a nine-hole golf course until 1990. After building nine additional holes, Blue Ridge became well known for its challenging layout and course conditions.

In 2003, a new $2.5 million clubhouse was constructed overlooking the golf course and the Blue Ridge mountainside.

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