Troon Golf purchases Sheraton

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— A luxury golf management company will make sure the grounds stay green at the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Club.

Troon Golf, which manages more than 100 golf courses worldwide, has assumed management of the Sheraton Golf Course. Although Troon will not be bringing in full-time employees, hotel General Manager Chuck Porter said they would act as a marketing and reservation resource and provide the golf course with a solid brand name.

"Troon brings a lot of experience to golf course management in general," Porter said. "It will brand our golf course. It will be a Troon course and puts us in connection with other various recourses of high end golf courses."

The Sheraton has managed the golf course since the hotel purchased it in 1979.

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon Golf manages and operates more than 115 golf courses located in 23 states and 10 countries. Troon manages seven other Colorado golf courses, including The Ridge at Castle Pines North in Castle Rock and Tamarron Resort in Durango.

"This marvelous High Country golf club (in Steamboat) is a welcome addition to our growing family of Troon Golf facilities throughout Colorado, and our company is honored by its new presence at this premier resort destination," said John Easterbrook Jr., the company's executive vice president of operations.

Porter said that by partnering with Troon, the golf course will retain its employees and will still approve its budget and rates. But it will use Troon's international marketing tools, tips on operating pro shops and reservation system.

In the next three to four years, Porter said the golf course is looking to build a new clubhouse.

With golf clubs in Arizona and as far away as Japan, Porter said being connected to the Troon brand will help boost golf course numbers.

"What we are working toward, and this is really the first step, is a higher level of operation. We want to build a new clubhouse in the next three to four years, but we felt we needed to focus on service level," Porter said.

The partnership was a result of Troon's discussion with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, the parent company of Sheraton. Porter said that even though the Steamboat Sheraton is not owned 100 percent by Starwood and would not have been included in any contract negotiations, the hotel still saw a partnership as being profitable.

Porter said he notified the golf course's 500 members and so far the feedback has been positive. Under the new partnership, Sheraton's members would be eligible for the Troon Advantage Program, which would secure special rates and services to all Troon Golf managed facilities.

Troon has eight golf clubs in Arizona and California and four in Texas.

It also manages clubs in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

More than 20 of Troon Golf facilities enjoy a top-100 ranking by national or international publications.

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