Bonita Bay Group selling courses to avoid bankruptcy

Bonita Bay sold its golf clubs to members at Mediterra in December, and Shadow Wood and The Commons at the Brooks to their members on Jan. 15.

The company sold Mediterra for $6.8 million in cash and handed over more than $15 million in debt to the membership. The company is still working out details with membership refunds.

Bonita Bay Group offered a unique club membership fee refund policy — money back within 30 days of resignation. Memberships ranged from $30,000 to about $180,000.

But in the fall of 2008, the company suspended refunds after a surge of resignations and a “run on the bank” by members seeking refunds.

According to court documents, Bonita Bay Group hasn’t paid about $15 million in deposits to more than 800 members who have resigned from its clubs since it dropped its refund policy, the Naples News reported last week.

David Lucas, the company’s chairman, told the Naples Daily News in August that the losses over the past two years had wiped out the cumulative profit of the company since its inception.


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