SPARKS, NV - The D'Andrea Golf Course has been closed for more than a year. As expected, the once green fairways are brown and weed-choked.
Its owner says there are plans for the clubhouse with its commanding view of the valley, but he may be in a race with vandals.
From a distance the building looks almost capable of once again hosting guests. Up close it's another matter.
The clubhouse sits empty. In fact, we were told following a water main break this past winter, the interior had to be gutted down to the frame work.
But now vandals and taggers have gone to work on it, defacing the exterior, breaking windows.
Sadly, that's not surprising. Empty buildings are often targets for this kind of damage. But as we approached, we found this building especially vulnerable.
City code enforcement people believed the building had been safely boarded up. We quickly found that wasn't true. I walked in through an unlocked door and immediately found I wasn't the first.
There's more graffiti and vandalism inside, though it's not yet extensive.
The glass panel on another door is completely broken out allowing anyone to step through.
We contacted owner Will Gustafson by phone. He says he was aware of some of the damage, but not the unlocked door.
He says he's hired a security firm to keep an eye on the place, but the real solution is to renovate the structure and open it up again.
The plans are for an events center. The clubhouse once hosted weddings and other celebrations. Gustafson says it can again. He hopes to have permission from the city to start renovation in a couple of weeks.
Plans for what was the golf course itself are still unclear. Gustafson says no one will play golf here again, but he says he's working on some ideas for the former fairways which will enhance the community.
The current conditions at D'Andrea confirm the worst fears of some in the surrounding neighborhood who campaigned to save the golf course. It is already an eyesore and now well on its way to becoming a more serious problem for this neighborhood, the city and the owner.
But the property still retains its biggest asset. Its location and that view. If that can be leveraged into a new use before vandals cause more damage, it would be good news for all concerned.