Golf, Resorts & Private Clubs

Sherman & Howard’s Golf, Resorts and Private Clubs attorneys provide a full range of legal services to the operations of hospitality-related properties, including business formations, purchases and sales of assets, growth issues, conversion financing, turnovers, exit strategies, governance, membership programs, debt restructuring and workouts, employment issues and operational liabilities.

We represent clubs, developers, buyers, sellers, lenders, members and member groups in various transactions, including the purchase and sale of property, and the construction and finance of mixed-use resort and master-planned communities, leading resorts, golf courses and private clubs, vacation ownership and club membership programs and other hospitality destinations.

Our team of lawyers also includes attorneys with experience in finance, real estate, environmental, intellectual property, labor and employment, tax, bankruptcy, and litigation, bringing practical in-depth understanding of matters of importance to you as a private club or hospitality industry client.

We provide advice to clubs during challenging economic times; provide counsel for equity club conversions and golf club membership programs; negotiate within the established relationships of golf clubs, social clubs and homeowner associations; revise club governance documents and membership documents to comply with law and incorporate best practices; and obtain and manage 501(c)(7) status.

Representative Matters

+Private Clubs

• Counsel to developers and member groups in golf club turnovers and equity conversions
• Advise clubs in best practices in changing legal areas, such as marriage and disability
• Counsel to member-controlled private clubs and developer controlled clubs
• Counsel to member-owned clubs financing renovations and new improvements through member loans, traditional financing, and member assessments
• Advise clubs on privacy and private status issues, tax exempt issues, and operational issues


• Land use and zoning for a $90,000,000 acquisition of mixed use resort project
• Land use and zoning entitlements for $50,000,000 redevelopment of two hotels in western Colorado ski resort
• $42,000,000 equity financing, acquisition and development of 400+ room hotel/lodge and conference center in major ski resort
• $520,000,000 senior and mezzanine construction financing in major ski resort
• Coordination of land use, entitlement, partnership and development documents in redevelopment of mountain resort in Truckee, California
• $60,000,000 Beaver Creek Resort hotel condominium renovation and expansion, retail and timeshare development
• Represent developers and owners in a broad range of sophisticated real estate transactions and related business transactions including resort projects
• Represent multiple resort developers in numerous transactions, including the development of eight mountain resort duplex lots in Steamboat Springs, a 10-unit townhome development in Steamboat Springs, and a 38 unit high-end condominium development in Telluride

+Golf Courses

• Counsel to buyers, sellers and owners in acquisitions, development, sales and financings of golf courses
• Significant golf-related lending work, including hundred-plus million dollar golf course and resort loans and work on various golf course matters related to financing and construction
• Development, subdivision and covenants for residential communities and resort development projects, including single family, condominiums, townhomes, and golf course communities
• Represented borrower/property owner in receivership action involving golf course and clubhouse at exclusive planned community
• Successfully represented a seller in enforcing its right to re-obtain ownership of golf course, pro shop, restaurant and community center in Arizona
• Negotiated, documented and closed multiple transactions involving acquisition, development, sale and like kind exchange of raw land, ranch properties, golf courses, hotel, offices, and shopping centers, including seller and purchaser representations
• Drafted declarations of covenants, conditions and restrictions for residential subdivisions, including single family, condominium, town home, and golf course communities
• Sale of ski area hotel, conference center, golf course, lodge, and single-family lots – $100 million
• Led negotiation and implementation of settlement of real estate and golf course litigation demanding $750 million in remedies, and provided significant real estate and business support for other litigation