Locals buy Garden of the Gods Club


The Garden of the Gods Club announced Tuesday that an investment group operated by two local women has purchased the historic facility, which had been on the market since June.

Colorado Springs residents Brenda Smith and Judy Mackey are the new owners of the club, making this the first time it has been locally owned since it was sold by Hill Development Corp. in 2007.

“[Smith and Mackey] look forward to building on this iconic legacy and elevating the Club to one of unparalleled elegance and grandeur; being recognized as a premier private club in the Western United States,” according to the news release announcing the sale.

The sale of the resort was brokered by CBRE Golf and Resort Properties and the purchase was financed in part through Central Bancorp. Records of the property transaction have not yet by processed by the El Paso County Assessor’s Office.

The buyers — Smith, formerly a partner at accounting firm BKD LLP until her retirement in 2007, and Mackey, president and CEO of Benefit Services Group Inc. — remained anonymous until the announcement Tuesday.

Former co-owners Sunrise Co. and Thomas Schmidt LLC announced their intent to sell certain assets of the property earlier this year. The 260-acre club property was officially listed by CBRE in June with an asking price of $14 million. The property includes a 43,000-square-foot main building, a 27-hole golf course with 31,500-square-foot clubhouse, and an 83-room lodge with spa, salon, fitness center and other amenities.

Not included in the real estate transaction was a large parcel of undeveloped acreage zoned for residential construction. That land is part of a development that includes Kissing Camels and was initially planned to accommodate 1,000 residential units, although there are only 500 existing homes in the area.

According to the real estate listing, the club generated $12 million in revenue last year and was on track to generate more in 2013.

California-based Sunrise and Texas-based Thomas Schmidt bought the property and assets from Hill Development Corp. in 2007 for $24.75 million, according to Assessor’s records.

Construction of the club, at 3320 Mesa Road, originally began in 1950 after Hill Development Corp. founder Al Hill and his wife bought the property a year prior. Many of the club’s amenities have either been rebuilt or remodeled since its establishment.

“With over sixty years of history and tradition, the new owners are excited to be in a position to shape the next sixty years, bringing to fruition a vision for the Garden of the Gods Club that has long been embraced by members and guests, truly bringing to life the Hill Family legacy,” the release said.