Brightwater Club in Gypsum to ‘hibernate’ in 2009 |

Brightwater Club in Gypsum to ‘hibernate’ in 2009

Scott N. Miller
Gypsum, CO, Colorado

The Brightwater Club in Gypsum, Colorado, will sit out the rest of this year.

In a recent letter to property owners, club CEO Ian Hause wrote that the club straddling Gypsum Creek will go into “hibernation” for the rest of this year. That means the golf course and various members-only buildings will be maintained, but won’t be open. All those facilities were open last year.

“It was a hard decision to make,” Hause said. “But we felt it was the right thing to do.”

A few people will work at Brightwater to maintain the course and club buildings, and a small administrative staff will be at the project, Hause said. But no seasonal jobs will be filled, and the club will stop its marketing and sales efforts. Club members won’t be charged fees while the club isn’t operating.

The decision to sit out 2009 comes after a year in which no lots were sold despite promotional efforts that included the offer of a three-year lease on a luxury SUV to anyone who bought a lot.

News that Brightwater is essentially shutting down for the year came as a disappointment, but not necessarily a surprise, to Suzanne Hoffman-LeBlanc and her husband Dan.

“It’s such a high-quality project,” Hoffman-LeBlanc said. “I think things just overtook them.”

Hoffman-LeBlanc and her husband were among the first people to buy lots at Brightwater, but hadn’t built yet, primarily because they were worried about the developers’ ability to complete the project.

And, she said, new investors might end up taking over Brightwater.

“What’s so sad is that it’s such a lovely area,” Hoffman-LeBlanc said. “It’s all been done at a very high level.”

Whether the Hoffmans eventually build a home at Brightwater or wait for the market to turn around and sell will depend, in large part, on whether the development changes hands and who ends up in control.

“I’d hate to see this group of managers go,” she said.

Hause said only time will tell how Brightwater’s ownership shakes out, but acknowledged that new investors could take control at some point.

“Right now we’re just maintaining the value of the assets and keeping the administrative infrastructure in place so we’re able to respond to economic changes,” he said.

Business Editor Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or

What: Brightwater Club.

Where: Gypsum, about six miles south of U.S. Highway 6 up Valley Road.

What it is: A gated housing development with an 18-hole golf course and club.

Potential homes: 535.

Built homes: About 25, with most completed.

Lots sold in 2008: 0.

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