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Duffers to Come Out Swinging When New Municipal Course Opens in August

Carlsbad is often referred to as the utopian village by the sea.

Events during the past year or two go a long way toward creating that image.

In the first week of August, the new 400-acre municipal golf course, the Crossings at Carlsbad, will open to public play amidst a week of tours and other festivities.

Often referred to as the “most expensive” municipal golf course in the nation, the course will be tested by hundreds of golfers who have been waiting to play on the much-anticipated course.

The Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce is hosting the first tournament on the course Monday, Aug. 6.

Once the chamber started offering foursomes and sponsorships for the tournament, the slots were more than 50 percent sold in less than two weeks.

By the first week in June, the 144 slots will be gone.

That is a testament to the popularity of the course.

Another project moving far too slowly is the Carlsbad Desalination Project, proposed by Poseidon Resources Corp., which is poking along at the California Coastal Commission.

Carlsbad will eventually be the only city in San Diego County with a 100 percent guaranteed water supply.

Operation of the plant will put 8 percent more water into the general pipeline used by all the other cities in the region.

That large amount of water would help other jurisdictions when the draught season hits.

The privately funded plant will be built adjacent to NRG Energy’s Encina Power Plant near the beach in southern Carlsbad.

Poseidon officials announced May 25 that they had entered into a partnership agreement with GE Water & Process Technologies to be an equity partner in the project.

GE manufactures membranes to remove solids and for reverse osmosis to help purify the 50 million gallons of drinking water each day.

Speaking of water, the City Council in Carlsbad is set to approve a $28.3 million aquatic park and swim complex on a 5-acre site within the future Alga Norte Park.

A 50-meter competition pool, 12-lane instructional pool, water therapy pool and a water play zone with two water slides is planned.

One glitch in the approval is the $6 million increase in construction costs that have to be considered before construction can begin.

The city’s capital projects budget is $188 million, which includes the new municipal golf course opening in August.

That is $40 million less than 2006.

In other North County news:

– Ponto Beach, one of the last developable, ocean front properties in Carlsbad, will get its days and weeks in a public forum in August. The city released its draft environmental impact report for public comment and nearly four dozen letters and e-mails have been sent to city planners. The Ponto Beachfront Village Vision Plan calls for three hotels, a resort complex, condominiums and retail shops. The project could become a $200 million or more project.

– Action sports brand company Reef has moved its corporate headquarters to Carlsbad after 10 years in Kearny Mesa.

– Phase 5 at La Costa Glen Carlsbad senior living community has broken ground. R.D. Olson Construction is building the $10.5 million project. Phase 5 consists of 52 villas and garden homes and is projected to be ready in January 2008.

– A quasi-mystery sale of one of the largest resort facilities in Carlsbad occurred between KSL Resorts, the owner of the La Costa Resort and Spa, and Whitehall Street Real Estate, an equity arm of Goldman, Sachs & Co. The essentially-confirmed-but-denied sale leaves KSL with the management contract. Whitehall was in the news recently when it spent $1.3 billion to buy the Stratosphere and three other casinos from Carl Icahn and his American Real Estate Partners. The purchase price was not disclosed. KSL bought the property from a Japanese firm in 2001 and has spent more than $140 million to upgrade the property.

– Carlsbad Golf Center was honored by Golf World magazine as a Best 100 Golf Shop in America winner. The center was also named a Top 100 Driving Range in America by Golf Range Magazine for the third consecutive year.

– The Corky McMillan Cos., a local home builder. is championing a campaign to raise $2 million for the San Diego Historical Society. Money donated through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar for dollar by an anonymous donor.

Ted Owen is president and CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce.


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