A local television station said the Tucson course had closed its clubhouse restaurant and no longer had running water, forcing golfers to use porta-potties on the course. A former payroll manager told the station she could not cash her check and her health insurance premiums had not been paid.
A report by KVOA News 4 Tucson stated that Arizona National Golf Club in Tucson is paying employees either late or not at all and forcing golfers to use porta-potties on the course because water in the clubhouse had been shut off for a week.
A woman who said she was a former payroll manager for the club’s ownership but did not want to be fully identified told News 4 that she was not able to cash her check and was also on the hook for medical bills after discovering that payment of her health insurance premiums had not been made for several months. She said she was then terminated for refusing to relocate to California, News 4 reported.
Arizonal National, the home course for the University of Arizona golf teams, is owned by Jeff Silverstein, former chairman of IRI Golf Group. In e-mail correspondence with News 4, Silverstein said he was addressing the employee payment issues. “If they [employees] are not being paid, I suggest they go to their supervisor and it will be handled,” Silverstein said.
Silverstein also told News 4 that the club’s account with Tucson Water was not delinquent and that the shutoff was due to a mistake. However, Tucson Water told News 4 that Arizona National owed them over $218,000.
Other properties associated with Silverstein in other states, including North Carolina and Texas, have been in the news for operating difficulties, first while part of the IRI Golf Group and then after that company was restructured and ownership of courses in its portfolio were transferred to other entities. Earlier this year, a Charlotte, N.C. television station investigated reports that courses previously under Silverstein’s ownership that form The Carolina Trail in the Charlotte area, including Birkdale Golf Club and Highland Creek Golf Course, were failing to pay employees and that trash was piling up on the properties and generating complaints from neighbors.
When contacted by the Charlotte station for comment, Silverstein said he was reducing debt at Carolina Trail courses that had resulted from 2008’s financial crisis. Steps were being taken to “give us a much stronger capital structure [to] ensure that the courses will be viable,” Silverstein added, and “going forward I do not anticipate any issues.”