Country Club Conundrum

Rio Bravo residents face questions as club and golf course plan to close

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Jim Darling lives just off the golf course inside Rio Bravo.

"It's a real pleasure to live out here, and there's a lot happening," said Darling.

"The 178 extension is nearing completion, there's a new restaurant coming in, and golfers are still putting away. But residents are worried.

"When your backyard is basically the country club and the potential is it's going to turn into a dust bowl, that's an area of concern," explained Darling.

The golf course and country club plan to close on May 31st. An email sent to some of the more than 600 households in the community this week by a homeowners association manager said the owner no longer will water the golf course, which means the main lake will not get water.

Another homeowners association member telling 17 News she fears the lake will be drained.

As of this week, the water still flowing. And development continues. 

A & E Union Inc owns the country club, and the company principals are Ung Mok Yi and Yongki Yi. In October of last year, the two loaned their company A & E Union Inc nearly 1.8 million dollars secured by a deed of trust against the property, according to public documents.

Now, homeowners are hoping to find a buyer. 

One HOA board president telling 17 News the course is "very much for sale."

"My understanding is it's been for sale for quite some time," added Darling.

But it's not just residents who could be affected.

After radio silence from the venue for weeks and an abruptly canceled wedding, Kern County Bridal Association Executive Director Kyle Brown will no longer recommend Rio Bravo Country Club for events. 

"We're taking them out of the association due to lack of response. they're not longer on our website, we don't recommend them anymore," said Brown.

For Darling, he hopes someone realizes the potential of the land, showing us an ad he placed in 1986 for rio bravo.

"It was a dream that was becoming a reality at that point, and now it's, that dream has been put on hold basically," said Darling. 

If you had an event planned to be at Rio Bravo after May 31st, get in touch with us on Facebook or email as we want to hear about it.

We reached out to the owners and the club's general manager for comment, but received no response.

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