Ironhorse Country Club files for Chapter 11

This news is from January. The financially troubled Ironhorse Country Club in West Palm Beach has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after losing a legal struggle to collect membership fees as the regional economy spirals even lower. Court documents show that the club, now appraised at $5.8 million, down from $9 million in 2006, owes $3.6 million to creditors, including Wachovia Bank.

"It's not uncommon for country clubs, especially of our size in a small community, to have a difficult time because there are just not enough members to support it," said Bob Naples, president of Ironhorse. "You're going to see a lot more go in the direction we've gone." An appeals court judge ruled last month that the club's developer could not charge mandatory fees to residents of the 320-home golf course development. Ironhorse has received a $2.4 million offer on the property, according to court documents.

Naples said that offer came from chairman of Switzerland-based refinery Petroplus, who recently purchased two Palm City golf courses and is the owner of a Worth Avenue condo in Palm Beach. Brigette Muglai, the club's catering director, said Ironhorse will continue to operate as the bankruptcy reorganization winds through the courts.