Sportsman's Country Club did not sell at auction Friday — just the property it owned at 4001 NW 39 Expressway.
That was drastic enough for a club dating to 1949 that has generations of members. The club will go on with some 50,000 acres leased for hunting and fishing across the state, plus a bunkhouse and waterfowl hunting at Jet.
Reza Mazrouee had the successful bid of $2.2 million when auctioneer Louis Dakil banged his gavel to call an end to a three-minute, 30-second auction at his sale facility at 200 NW 114 not long after 10 a.m.
The auction of furnishings and contents — including 200 pieces of wildlife art — went on all day. The 700-some items fetched an additional $90,000, Dakil said.
The winning bid for the real estate was more than the club and observers expected. The acreage is a prime spot for development, surrounded by retail. Whatever is done with it, Oklahoma City planners won't have a direct say. The land is zoned for agricultural use but is not in the city limits; it's an unincorporated sliver of Oklahoma County.
Mazrouee said he owns car dealerships on NW 39 Expressway but that he did not have firm plans for his acquisition, which included a 14,114-square-foot clubhouse, other structures, swimming pools, tennis courts and 50.7 acres, including a lake.
“We bought this property as an investment property, and we haven't decided how we're going to develop it. But we're going to figure out something, and hopefully it'll be a good investment for us,” Mazrouee said.
Ken Whittington, club president, said club members should be pleased.
“We're very enthusiastic about the future of the club and where we're going,” said Whittington, who is president of Granite Re Inc., a contractor insurer.
Members can still look forward to “great times in the field,” said Dru Jacobs, club treasurer, who is executive vice president of Adfitech, a mortgage services company in Edmond. Jacobs said his children, Mackenzie, 16, and Carson, 11, bagged spring turkeys just last Saturday hunting on one of the club's leases.
David Feisal, senior vice president at Spirit Bank, said membership had remained largely stable since the board made the hard decision to sell the club's property.
Whittington stressed that the future of the club is secure — perhaps a little more stable, in fact. He said directors and members wanted to keep the land and clubhouse, which also were used by businesses and civic clubs, but couldn't afford it considering the decline in membership over several years.
“Now we've got to regroup and figure out — the club's going to continue on,” he said. “Now we've got a little bit of extra money, and now we've got to determine what we're going to do once we get the bank paid off.”
Whittington said the auction evoked mixed emotions.
“It is very bittersweet. You know, I grew up in the club — so you know it's bittersweet to see the club (property) go away,” he said. “But the club is bigger than just the real property. It's all the members that make up that thing, and we'll continue on and figure out what we're going to do next.”
Club member Brad Neff, owner of Heartland Roofing, said he hopes the club is not forever without a place of its own.
“It's sad to see the place go, but it is the way of the country club. The hunting piece is still intact and is only going to get better because of the changes,” Neff said. “It's just a new day for the club, and it was the right decision to sell. My hope is that we will be able to build a clubhouse somewhere around town that can be used for meetings, parties, etc., that will be nice but not so high-maintenance.”
Dakil said he got inquiries about the auction from across the country. More than 300 people attended the open house and some 50 potential buyers toured the property.