Driving range operator Topgolf has bailed on a proposed Thornton location that’s been a thorn in its side for more than a year.
Thornton city councilman Sam Nizam confirmed Topgolf notified Thornton’s economic development department this week that it no longer was pursuing a facility at 136th Avenue and Interstate 25. The news follows a second lawsuit filed last month by Lotte Radoor, a neighbor who has opposed the project.
“The second lawsuit is probably what did us in,” Nizam said. “Topgolf didn’t want to go through another lawsuit. They wanted to be a good neighbor.”
Nizam said Thornton had lured Topgolf with an economic incentives package, and while 80 percent of his ward wanted to see the range open at the site, nearby residents opposed the project. Radoor won her first case against the city after an Adams County district judge ruled the city had violated business park zoning for the Thorncreek Commons site.
In August, the city approached the neighborhood to amend the city code, which would allow a facility like Topgolf on the property. Neighbors again opposed the amendments, but the city council passed them unanimously.
Radoor fired off a second lawsuit.
“They decided not to go through the drama,” Nizam said. “They didn’t have the patience to wait.”
He said Broomfield also is trying to lure the driving range, which uses computerized golf balls that keep score, and that Topgolf still is considering property in Thornton and Westminster.
“It’s an unfortunate thing that that small group of people can stop a big project,” he said.
Topgolf did not return requests for comment. The Texas-based company opened its first Colorado location in 2015.