Early Briefing: Presidential Golf Club Closes

* The Presidential golf club, which opened in Loudoun County in May, apparently closed Monday after more than a dozen unpaid contractors had filed liens on the property.

Some companies working on the $40 million first phase of the Dulles golf club, which included a clubhouse, golf academy, driving range, restaurant, pro shop and an 18-hole course, said they have not been paid since April. To date, these contractors have filed $3.4 million in liens in Loudoun County Circuit Court.

n a statement, landowners Beaumeade Associates and North Dulles Retail Associates -- owned equally by The Tower Companies and Lerner Enterprises -- said they were notified over the weekend that The Presidential's debt, including past-due rent payments, would not be paid and that the club would be going out of business and abandoning the property on Monday.
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Billed as a boardroom with a golf course, The Presidential aimed to be an exclusive retreat for corporate businessmen to network and entertain clients. Membership was capped at 150 companies, each paying $60,000 a year for employees and clients to use the golf course and clubhouse on Waxpool Road, east of Loudoun County Parkway. It also attracted a number of big names, such as Bill Dean, president and chief executive officer of M.C. Dean, and former Washington Redskins player Darrell Green, as investors.

* George Washington University Business School is overhauling its graduate program this year and says it is taking a chance: Will future MBAs value a new emphasis on ethics, or are they in it only for the money?

The school plans to announce today that it is transforming its curriculum with its current first-year graduate students, emphasizing ethical business practices and globalization. Such trends have been growing throughout U.S. business education. But GW administrators say they are taking it further than any other school, not adding a course or a workshop but infusing the entire curriculum with these principles.

* In his Raw Fisher blog, columnist Marc Fisher says the Union Station 9, the much-maligned movie theater complex in the basement food court, will soon shut down forever.

Opened in 1988 as part of the renovation of the train station into a shopping mall, the Union Station 9's theaters are named after classic movie palaces that once dotted the District: the Roxy, Palace, Orpheum, Penn and so on. But there was nothing classic about the look or experience of the Union Station multiplex, which, because of its location at the crossroads between affluent and impoverished parts of town, became a symbol of the very different moviegoing cultures in this country.

Some patrons were appalled at how Union Station audiences cheered, jeered and otherwise made noise during the movies, while other patrons felt they were singled out for undue attention from security guards. The divide sometimes turned into a debate about race and class, not exactly what a movie theater operator is hoping for.

But it wasn't that sociopolitical split that led to the decision to shut down the theaters. Rather, as David Ball, president of the Union Station Redevelopment Corp., put it, "The movie theaters are basically losing money. They don't draw the crowds." Ball says the new owners of the retail complex intend to put shops in the space currently occupied by the theaters.

By Dan Beyers  |  September 16, 2008; 7:27 AM ET
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