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The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course closing after 2 years

Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - A sign at the entrance to The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport advertises a grounds equipment auction in April.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>A sign at the entrance to The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport advertises a grounds equipment auction in April.
Eric Felack | Valley News Dispatch - The clubhouse and pro shop area sit atop the 18th hole of The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Eric Felack  |  Valley News Dispatch</em></div>The clubhouse and pro shop area sit atop the 18th hole of The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport.
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Thursday, March 21, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

After about two years in operation, The Phoenix at Buffalo Valley golf course in Freeport has closed — at least for the season.

Gary Nese, president of Trilogy Golf Development, which owns The Phoenix, said the 18-hole golf course may reopen in the future and has “suspended operations” for a year.

“It's a long-term investment,” Nese said. “We are reevaluating long-term liability of the golf course.”

Nese also said the restaurant may reopen at an earlier time.

“We're in the process of talking with a local restaurant operator,” he said. “We may lease out the restaurant. Our target date for that is May 1.”

Don Rehner, Freeport Council president, said he heard “the rumor” that The Phoenix had closed. He said the closure won't have a significant financial impact on the borough because property taxes will still be paid.

“I hate to see it any time a business of any type closes for any reason,” he said. Rehner said he never played golf at The Phoenix, but dined at the restaurant there.

“I thought they were doing OK,” he said. “I would question whether they gave it time to re-establish, but, then again, I'm not a golfer.”

In November, Chicago-based auctioneer Sheldon Good & Co. announced that The Phoenix and Glengarry Golf Links in Latrobe were up for auction. The auction was to occur Dec. 18, but bids are still being accepted and reviewed. A Sheldon Good representative said an auction might occur this spring.

Glengarry is opening on time.

The grounds equipment at The Phoenix is slated to be auctioned on April 9, according to a sign at the course entrance.

Fred Peters Auctioneers of Fayette County is conducting the auction. Calls seeking comment were not returned.

Mark Troen, CEO of Sheldon Good, previously told Trib Total Media that the Nese family wants to concentrate on its core business of construction and home-building.

Last April, Freeport's zoning hearing board permitted strip mining near the course on 128 acres at the end of Mill Street.

Nese said then that the strip-mining operation was necessary to make a safe foundation for a proposed housing development on the property.

The state Department of Environmental Protection is reviewing the mining permit application.

Bill Beckner Jr. contributed. Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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