Bandon Links project terminated

Mike Keiser’s much-anticipated Bandon Links project in Bandon, Oregon, will no longer see the light of day. Keiser, the lauded developer and owner of Bandon Dunes, announced the termination of the project early this month.

Bandon Links, which has been in the planning stages with architect Gil Hanse for the last seven years, has been terminated, Keiser announced in a letter distributed by KemperSports. Conflicts with the Bureau of Land Management, the federal agency with jurisdiction over a portion of the lands, was the cause, Keiser said.

“[The BLM] has just advised that in keeping with federal regulations the fees charged must be commensurate with other golf courses on BLM lands, and that revenues would have to be devoted to use on the property,” Kesier said in a statement. “That eliminates the funding source for subsidizing the low local rates, for the scholarship program, and for the off-site gorse control.”

Coos and Curry county residents would have been able to play the course for greens fees as little as $10 a round. And up to 200 high school students annually would earn money by caddying, and they would be able to apply for college scholarships in association with the Western Golf Association. The project also included funding for gorse removal in the south coast area. Importantly, these programs would only be made possible by charging out-of-state tourists $200 to $250 per round. 

“Additionally, recent well testing has met with disappointing results; and that in turn creates difficulties for meeting certain Oregon land use requirements, which protect lands designated as farm land,” Kesier added. “As a result of these problems, I am abandoning the Bandon Links project and will seek a site where the same programs would be viable.”

Golf enthusiasts and locals alike expected the new development to boost the local economy, provide jobs and become yet another “bucket-list golf course.”

“This project had great promise for boosting the local economy and providing employment opportunities and job training,” Kesier said. “And, the golf experience would have rivaled that which is present at Bandon Dunes Resort 15 miles to the north. So it is with great regret that I make this announcement.”

The termination of the project will not affect Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Keiser said. 

“My family and I continue to be devoted to the Oregon south coast area as we remain involved in projects which promote conservation, the local community, and the local economy by blending recreational and educational opportunities with ecological initiatives,” he said. 

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