With clubhouse demolished, Hempstead to invest in Lido Beach golf course’s greens

by Joanne Miller

Lido Golf Club’s clubhouse, located in Lido Beach, New York, was demolished this summer by the Town of Hempstead. The decision to tear down the catering hall space was made because the town deemed it unworthy of renovation. Instead, the area will be paved over to create additional parking spots for the golf club’s 18-hole course.

Town Supervisor Don Clavin explained that the focus is now on rehabilitating and improving the golf course itself. The demolition took place on August 23, leaving behind a chain-link fence surrounding the remnants of the structure. Temporary trailers are currently being used to serve golfers, and there are no plans in place to construct permanent replacements.

Previously, the catering hall and golf course were operated by a concessionaire for two decades. However, when the agreement with Double Eagle Golf, the vendor, ended in 2017, town officials decided to take over operations and evicted the company. This led to a legal dispute between the vendor and the town.

The vendor claimed that the town owed them $776,000 for repairs made to the golf course after Superstorm Sandy, while the town countersued, alleging negligence and disrepair of the facility. Eventually, the parties reached a settlement in 2021, with the town agreeing to pay Double Eagle Golf $85,000.

This settlement was not the first attempt at resolution, as a similar agreement was reached in 2019. However, former Democratic Town Supervisor Laura Gillen objected to the settlement due to Double Eagle Golf’s previous payment of nearly $1 million to a consulting firm led by Nassau Republican Chairman Joseph Cairo. Cairo, who had worked with the vendor on business decisions, clarified that he had no involvement with the golf course after 2014 and was not part of the legal dispute.

In April of this year, the Hempstead town board hired D & B Engineers and Architects to analyze the clubhouse and develop a rehabilitation plan. The goal was to determine if modifying the existing building was feasible. However, it was discovered that such modifications would require a significant investment, prompting the town to shift its focus to improving the golf course itself rather than the catering hall.

While the cost of renovating the former clubhouse is unknown, the town has already begun investing in the golf course. In 2022, a new $600,000 facility was built to house golf carts, and plans are in place to spend $2 million to $3 million on upgrading the irrigation system. This project is expected to commence next year and will include the construction of water tanks to prevent saltwater from entering the irrigation system.

Supervisor Clavin emphasized his commitment to making the golf course more beautiful and ensuring a long-term investment that benefits all golfers. The demolition of the clubhouse may have raised some concerns, but the town’s focus on improving the golf course demonstrates its dedication to enhancing the overall experience for players and visitors alike.

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