Inability to pay bills caused Hardys to walk away from Ballinger Golf Course lease

Lake Ballinger Golf Course.

By Doug Petrowski

The owners of Hardy Golf walked away from their management responsibilities of Ballinger Lake Golf Course in Mountlake Terrace this week because “the company simply could not pay the bills and meet the city’s monetary deadlines,” according to company partner Carol Hardy.

Tyrone and Carol Hardy had managed the City of Mountlake Terrace-owned golf course under the incorporated name of Hardy Golf LLC since 2006. They informed the city that Nov. 4 was the last day they would manage the course.

The Hardys said that management of the course had been difficult financially over the past few years.  “The culmination of four years of a bad economy and four years of inclement spring and summer weather imposed a financial strain on the company’s cash flow,” the Hardys noted in a press release.

Regarding the decision to end their relationship with the Ballinger Lake Golf Course, the Hardys sensed they had no other choice. “With the off-season approaching, Hardy Golf LLC felt it was both a prudent and necessary, though painful, decision to make,” the press release said.

“This company was our livelihood,” they continued. “We lost jobs, our employees lost jobs and our customers lost their home-away-from-home. This was not done in vain or with malice, and was not a casual decision.”

The Hardys began operating the course in 2006 when they signed a five-year lease agreement with the City of Mountlake Terrace; annual lease payments were reportedly $87,000. A revised four-year agreement, with annual lease payments of $24,000, was signed in early 2011.

Carol Hardy told MLTnews on Wednesday that even with the lower annual lease, the couple was finding it difficult to make ends meet and informed the city late last year they would not be able to make lease payments. They claim they were in negotiation with the city when they were served a “10-day Pay or Vacate” notice in February 2012.

“While it was certainly in their legal right to do so, giving us that 10-day notice in the middle of winter when there is no chance of getting that money did not help the situation,” Carol Hardy said. “While the city did help in some areas, we felt they could have helped more.”

Carol Hardy acknowledged their decision to walk away from the operation of Ballinger Lake Golf Course now may end up in the courts. “Because there is still some time remaining on the lease, it is certainly possible,” she said.

So what is next for the couple? “Right now, we’re available for hire!” Carol responded enthusiastically.

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