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County signs off on AVL's purchase of Broadmoor

"Motion carries. Keep 'em swinging," Chairman Grady Hawkins said when the Henderson County Board of Commissioners signed off on the Asheville Regional Airport's purchase of Broadmoor Golf Links on Wednesday.

Commissioners first took up the proposed sale publicly a month ago, when golfers implored them to ensure the golf course continues to operate even if it changes hands.

"We have received a petition to keep the Broadmoor Links available and also a resolution from the city of Fletcher indicating the same," Hawkins said as commissioners opened the discussion Wednesday.

Property owner Warrior Custom Golf, which owns 15 courses, filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2019 and is trying to liquidate its assets.

Lew Bleiweis, executive director of the airport, told commissioners that Warrior had approached airport officials about the sale.

"We've had an opportunity to purchase the golf course," he said. "No one else has stepped up to do it." The airport wants the land in order to protect the air space around the airport and also to potentially develop part of the land as a source of rental revenue, Bleiweis said.

About 163 acres of the 193-acre tract land is in the floodplain. The airport authority has considered marketing 20-30 acres of high ground for some kind of development.

"We would lease it for development but we will not sell any of the property," Bleiweis said.

Commissioner Michael Edney said the location would be ideal for a hotel-convention center.

Bleiweis, who has talked with several companies interested in operating the course, said the airport authority is open to keeping the golf course in business. One option is that the Henderson County Parks & Rec Department would run it under an agreement with the airport authority.

"I'm encouraged by all the efforts to address the concerns that we raised (about preserving golf) and I'm satisfied they're doing all that they can to keep that golf course open and operational," Commissioner Bill Lapsley said before making the motion to sign off on the sale.