This story first ran on BizWest.com, a BusinessDen news partner.
Northern Colorado could soon be the home of a highly coveted entertainment and recreation amenity: a Topgolf facility.
Documents gathered by through a Colorado Open Records Act request indicate that Timnath officials have been actively pursuing Topgolf, which has Colorado locations in Thornton, Centennial and Colorado Springs, for at least six months and have floated the proposal of a generous tax- and fee-incentive package to lure the popular venue to town.
Topgolf and Timnath officials appear to be targeting the roughly 240-acre Ladera development near the intersection of Harmony Road and Interstate 25 for the project.
Dallas-based Topgolf Entertainment Group builds large-scale, often multi-story driving ranges that allow golfers to play a variety of electronically scored games. The sites also heavily feature food and beverage service.
Connell LLC is the developer of the Ladera site, town documents show. Connell declined to comment. Topgolf also did not respond to requests for comment Friday.
Late last year, town officials received a petition, which was ultimately approved, for the organization of a Business Improvement District at the site that establishes two new metro districts.
The metro districts are expected to raise about $95 million to pay for public improvements at Ladera, Timnath documents show.
Timnath Town Council last year approved an ordinance granting a 50 percent sales tax credit for the development that “shall remain in effect until the earlier of: a) the date that the Maximum Reimbursement Amount of $5,000,000 has been remitted to any combination of the Developer, the PIF Collection Agent, or any successor or assignee to the Developer or the PIF Collection Agent, or b) ten years after issuance of the first certificate of occupancy for the Ladera Property,” town documents show.
In a signed December 2021 letter to Topgolf real estate manager Jonathan Trenski, Timnath mayor Mark Soukup expressed his “sincerest desire by the Town of Timnath to join our community.”
Specific details about the construction of the Topgolf facility were scant in the information provided by Timnath to BizWest, but emails were exchanged late last year between city staff and Grant Nelson with Republic Investment Group in Greenwood Village discussing real estate assessments for the other two Topgolf locations in Colorado. Nelson is listed on town documents as a board member for the Ladera Business Improvement District and those emails provided a glimpse at the potential size and scope of the project.
“The Northern CO facility will be 52 bays instead of the 104 bays in Thornton and Centennial so I am assuming that the size will be a little smaller as well,” Nelson wrote. “The footprint off of the CAD is 26,000 square feet, so maybe it’s two stories and something closer to 50,000 square feet.”
Internal emails suggest Timnath officials are anticipating some pushback from the community to the Topgolf proposal.
Citing an email from a constituent who got wind of the project and had questions about the height of the proposed Topgolf facility, Soukup wrote to staffers in March that “we may have a greater protest on Top Golf than we have anticipated.”
Word of the Topgolf’s plans appears to have begun filtering into the community in early 2021.
A Fort Collins building department staffer forwarded a question she’d received on the project to Timnath officials in January, to which Blakely instructed his staff: “Please let her know that you are not aware of a Topgolf coming to Timnath nor have you received a building permit for it.”
Officials also circulated emails with links to Louisville, Kentucky, news coverage of a lawsuit brought by residents there who opposed a similar project.