Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"A golf course, but not enough green"

This is appalling:

The Georgetown Club, an elegant private country club nestled amid horse farms 35 miles north of Boston, seemed like a picture-perfect place for a fall wedding.

Margaret Leavitt could understand why her youngest daughter chose it for her wedding this Saturday. “The views were breathtaking,’’ said Leavitt, who lives in Haverhill. “It was open, with a lot of windows. You could see right out onto the course. It just had a nice ambiance.’’

But Leavitts’ daughter won’t be dancing at The Georgetown Club. The club abruptly closed on Monday because of financial troubles, leaving a handful of fall brides frantically searching for new reception halls and a host of golfers losing out on the autumn season.

“We were given no notice,’’ said Leavitt, her voice rising. “We don’t see how ourselves, or any of the brides, will get their money back.’’

The out-of-luck brides are the latest casualties of the financial troubles at the club, saddled in recent years with declining membership amid a bad economy. More than 100 members have left the club in recent months, and 15 weddings were cancelled in the last year, said Dr. Peter Wojtkun, a managing partner.

“We were doing well until the economy crashed last year,’’ Wotjkun said. “People couldn’t even get married it was so bad.’’

“It will be sold at a foreclosure auction,’’ Wotjkun, an Andover dentist, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “We had hoped to reorganize, and open again next season.’’

A last-minute dispute scuttled plans for a loan from Sovereign to keep the club going.

As a result, brides lost $5,000 deposits.