Tupper Lake Golf Club asks town for longer lease

TUPPER LAKE – The Tupper Lake Golf Club, which runs the town-owned golf course, is looking for an extended lease when its current one runs out this year.

Eric Shaheen, a club board member, told the town board Monday afternoon that his group wants to give a three-year lease to Dave Clark, who ran the restaurant at the county club last year. It’s hard to get someone who does a good job with that restaurant, and Clark did when he took over the space last year, Shaheen said.

But the golf club has only been able to secure a few years at a time on its leases in the last decade or so, Shaheen said.

“It’s like pulling teeth to get a lease,” Shaheen said. “I don’t want to see it getting dragged out and dragged out and dragged out.”

The current lease ran from 2009 and expires this year. Shaheen noted that the club has been leasing the property from the town for about 70 years.

Shaheen said the club can give Clark a one-year lease if necessary, but “it’s not good business.”

Having short-term leases makes it hard to invest in the golf course, Shaheen said. He asked for a 15-year lease, like the one the town recently granted to the Rod and Gun Club.

Mike Dechene said the golf club owes the town money on a bond that runs until 2020, so it makes sense for the town to keep its lease with the club.

Most members of the town board said they don’t see why it would be a problem, but town Supervisor Roger Amell said the town will need to talk to its legal counsel about the topic.

Amell said there are “other things going on,” giving the example of the pro shop and cross-country ski trails there that have grown in popularity in recent years.

Other board members said they are confident that the various interested groups can get together and iron out a longer-term lease that will work for everyone.

“I’m all for it,” said town board member Patti Littlefield. “I think it’s a good idea.”