Struggling golf courses, dying country clubs---a Kansas company has figured out a way to breathe new life into them and now the concept is coming to Sioux Falls.
Local Burger King franchise owner Tom Walsh Sr. and the Topeka-based GreatLife Golf & Fitness are making a big announcement in Sioux Falls this week.
Tom Walsh Sr. bought Willow Run golf course on the city's east side after it came out of bankruptcy in 2012. Now he's forming a partnership with a Kansas company that has a different business concept, expanding into what will be its third state.
Sources tell KELOLAND News that the plan for GreatLife Golf & Fitness in Sioux Falls involves Bakker Crossing and Willow Run golf courses in town and Central Valley golf course in Hartford. The former YWCA, now called Embe, is also part of the plan, as may be Sioux Empire Fitness.
The club's owner tells KELOLAND News someone has looked at it, but wouldn't go into any details. The president of GreatLife Golf & Fitness has toured Sioux Empire Fitness.
GreatLife Golf & Fitness has 24 locations in Kansas and Missouri. In some of those locations it is a franchise; in others, it's a licensing partnership.
The company, based out of Topeka, has five 18-hole golf courses and five fitness centers in that market. It partnered with the YWCA in Topeka and bought new equipment and completely remodeled the facility.
The president of GreatLife says its memberships start at $20 a month for an individual and allows use all golf courses and fitness centers in the group. In some cities, the memberships cost as much as $400 a month for families. GreatLife's focus is to have something for the whole family to use. It has pools in about half of its locations.
The news conference on GreatLife Golf & Fitness in Sioux Falls is being held Wednesday morning at Embe.