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Meriwether Acquires Morgan Run

COUNTRY CLUBS: New Owners Plan $25M Upgrade

Meriwether Companies, based in Los Angeles and Colorado, has acquired Morgan Run Club & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe with plans to spend more than $25 million renovating the property.

David Likins
Partner
Meriwether Companies

“It’s a fantastic location. It’s a great property, but it’s not seen a lot of capital investment over the last 20 years,” said David Likins, a San Diego-based partner of Meriwether Companies. “It’s been fairly neglected, frankly, over the last 20 years.”

Likins declined to say how much Meriwether spent to buy Morgan Run, but he said that the renovations would touch every part of the club, stopping short of tearing it down and rebuilding from scratch.

“We’re going to rebuild elements in the club,” Likens said. “We’re not a stuffy operation. We like the idea of coastal casual. There are opportunities to bring back that coastal casual look, elegant, but not refined, is kind of our objective.”

The renovation is scheduled for completion in late 2025, with the work done in phases so the club can stay open during construction.

Morgan Run has a 27-hole golf course, a 320-yard driving range, a short game practice course, 10 tennis courts, four pickleball courts, a pool, a fitness center, a restaurant, 17,000-square-feet of event space and 76 hotel rooms.

Likins said that hotel rooms will be redone, the golf course will be redesigned with a new irrigation system and elements added to make it more family-friendly, lap lanes will be added to the swimming pool, and three to four pickleball courts will be added.

“We’re a big tennis club here and we like that tradition. At the same time, we want to give pickleball an opportunity to be its own destination. It gives a different type of guest an opportunity to enjoy San Diego,” Likins said.

Overall, the renovated Morgan Run “will have all the benefits of a traditional country club,” Likins said, but with a broader focus.

Underserved

Morgan Run traces its history to 1960, when Roy Canady bought 300 acres in an area known as Whispering Palms.

In 1965, Henry and David Rainville designed and built 18 holes of the golf course, which was expanded in 1973 as the Whispering Palms Country Club with 27 holes of golf.

A resort component was added in 1975, and the name was changed in 1993 to Morgan Run by Cobblestone Properties.

The club draws members primarily from North County – “La Jolla to Encinitas out to Poway and Escondido,” Likins said.

Monthly dues range from $120 to $800 with an initiation fee of $94 to $7,500, depending on how much of the club members use.

Likins said there are no plans to raise fees immediately following the renovation.

A San Diego native, Likins joined Meriwether as a partner in June and said that he feels a special connection to Morgan Run.

“I grew up here. I’ve lived here for 50 years. My parents have been members of this club since I was 15,” Likins said.

Like him, Likins said much of Meriwether’s leadership has strong ties to San Diego.

“We’re club people. We acquire and remodel or build ground-up club space. We do that in the golf industry, in the racquet industry, in the ski industry, and recently, we’ve moved into the surf industry,” Likins said. “This is one of those markets that we feel is underserved from the coastal resort model and it fits well with our view of the world.”

Meriwether Companies
Founded:  2011
Headquarters: Boulder, Colorado and Los Angeles
Partners: Graham Culp, Noah Hahn, Garrett Simon, Mike Burkhart, Michael Schwab and David Likins
Business: Real estate investment and development
Employees:  350 – 400
Website:  www.meriwetherco.com
Contact:  303-395-3150
Notable: Meriwether Companies is a private firm focused on resort master plan, hospitality and commercial development.

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