The city of Red Wing has sued the operator of the Mississippi National Golf Links, alleging that his plan to close the financially troubled course on Thursday constitutes a breach of contract that could hurt the course and ultimately damage the city's bond rating.
The city owns the 36-hole course that sits along the scenic Mississippi River bluffs, but leases it to Wendell Pittenger, owner of the company that manages the property. Last month, Pittenger sent a letter to club members saying that he planned to close the course on the same date that a $1.1 million payment is due on a revenue bond issued to the city but guaranteed by Pittenger.
By suing, city officials hope to keep Pittenger from removing and selling equipment needed to operate the course. They also have asked that planned social events be allowed to continue at the clubhouse while the case is in dispute, according to a lawsuit filed in Goodhue County District Court.
Under terms of the lease agreement, which expires in 2038, the city can take control of the course if Pittenger defaults.