The Pueblo West View

Letter: Sly must be the politician

The Pueblo West View has given much space to criticism of Desert Hawk Golf Course (“A web of obscurity,” The Pueblo West View, Aug. 22, 2013).

Perhaps a name change would help present some of the positive features.

I am suggesting a name change to Jekyll Island Memorial.

Prior to 1960, the land presently occupied by Pueblo West Metropolitan District was a near-worthless land mass that did nothing but fill the void between Florence and Pueblo with piles of shale.

As a cattle ranch, it was “use of last resort,” it rarely provided its owners with enough income to pay the property taxes.

After a financially successful endeavor at Lake Havaseu in Arizona, the McCulloch people began looking for a large piece of cheap western land near a large body of water.

Once a large gathering of people is established, realtors will tell you there are three important things effecting the value of real estate: Location, location, location.

The McCulloch people understood the trick in profitable real estate was the gathering of the people in the first place.

Their process was to inform people of a place where they could “get in on the ground floor” of the next boom town.

In the case of Pueblo West, it became location near “soon to be built” Pueblo Reservoir and a golf course.

The Bureau of Reclamation was busy putting the finishing touches on Pueblo Reservoir and McCulloch was building a golf course and an inn to convince would-be investors of the potential profits to be made by investing in real estate.

Fortunately for McCulloch, the area was enjoying a “Wet Cycle” with natural moisture almost double the long-range average.

When they took the pictures for the sales brochures the grama grass was lush and green.

The investors (MARKS) were brought in at great expense, put up in the inn overlooking the golf course.

Large scale maps were available and tours of the three model homes, on the golf course, where else, were promoted.

It was a pleasant walk from the inn down across the first fairway, now the tenth, to the model homes.

The sales force, armed with Jeep Grand Wagoneers, encouraged a vehicle tour; after all you could see so much more, before you were returned to the airport.

The building sites adjacent to the golf course were three to 10 times the price of any remaining lots.

The further from the golf course the less the price.

It’s hard to explain what caused the growth spurt in Pueblo West from 1997 to 2007, but it did happen.

Like it or not, the homes in the proximity of the golf course generate a huge volume of property taxes due to assessed valuation associated to location near the golf course.

Pundits of the golf course enterprise feel it is nothing more than governmental agencies that invest taxpayer money in worthless assets and then try to hide the transactions, either by writing them off as uncollectible bad debts or by transferring them off the books and onto the books of another entity.

Proponents of the golf course enterprise can use the same style of accounting analysis to prove the golf course enterprise a wise investment.

Should it have fallen into the hands of a private investor that might subdivide it into some other use, perceived property values would plummet?

Depending on the alternate use, the adjacent assessed property values would eventually drop with a resulting drop in County, Metro, school and all the other taxes generated from homes.

Golf; a game where adults pay $10 per hour to drive around in a little vehicle after hitting a ball which they might not find. If they find their ball or one lost by another player, they continue to hit the ball until it falls in a small hole.

This process continues, generally in the same direction past numerous overpriced homes that generate high tax revenues. Traditionally, society places a disproportionately high value on property in the vicinity of this game.

Other game facilities do not share this amenity value.

Sly must be the politician, that promotes spending tax money to generate much desired additional tax revenues.

Joe Mahaney, Pueblo West

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