County approves incentive package for new resort hotel

The Moore County Board of Commissioners during their regular meeting Tuesday approved a financial incentive package, making way for the Pinehurst Resort to build a new hotel on the grounds of the Pinehurst Country Club. The 36-room hotel is planned to be constructed on the 1.2-acre site of the croquet lawns overlooking the Cradle Short Course.

The 10-year agreement, approved after a public hearing Tuesday evening, would see a 90% reduction in property taxes on the new hotel as an incentive to the Pinehurst Resort, in exchange for building a $16.2 million facility and hiring 20 full-time employees. 

The construction of a new hotel and supporting facilities is said to be in support of the United States Golf Association (USGA) commitment to hosting five Men’s U.S. Open Championships in the Village of Pinehurst into the year 2047.

In September of 2020, the USGA announced plans to establish a second headquarters in Pinehurst. Called Golf House Pinehurst, it will include an $18 million equipment-testing facility, innovation hub, museum/visitor center and offices by the year 2023. Those plans also came with local and state economic incentives.

“Pinehurst and the USGA believe this hotel can provide an exceptional unique experience to the overall championship to players, hospitality partners and USGA officials,” said Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley during the public hearing. “One of the main opportunities with the frequency of future U.S. Opens is to do things a little differently and begin establishing facilities that differentiate a U.S. Open in Pinehurst. We want the players to think Pinehurst is a really special U.S. Open, and we believe this facility will directly contribute to that.”

In November of 2020, the Village of Pinehurst approved a similar financial incentive package. At that time, a group of passionate Pinehurst residents raised concerns about losing amenities, a shortage of parking and traffic issues around the Carolina Hotel. 

Tuesday evening, the only person to speak in opposition was John Misiasek of Vass. “This isn’t an incentive, it’s a subsidy,” said Misiasek. “I’d suggest you call it what it is. Simply state Moore County chooses to subsidize Pinehurst Resort, and you may as well add that you choose to spend taxpayer money for this rather than fixing our existing schools.”

Plans are for the new hotel to be opened before March 1, 2024.

Feature photo: Pinehurst Resort President Tom Pashley addresses the Moore County Board of Commissioners as county manager Wayne Vest looks on in the background.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article and photo by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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