San Bernardino County to become first SoCal Topgolf location

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– The Board of Supervisors has placed San Bernardino County at the top of the leaderboard toward becoming the first Southern California home of Topgolf, an internationally renowned technology-enabled entertainment experience.

“Topgolf will be an outstanding entertainment asset that will attract people from all over Southern California to San Bernardino County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, whose Fourth District includes the future Topgolf site on county-owned land in Ontario. “The Topgolf concept appeals to all ages, and everyone will benefit from the revenue that will be directed toward the betterment of the county’s Regional Parks system.”

The county and Topgolf (https://topgolf.com/us/), a hugely popular sports and entertainment attraction with locations around the globe, entered into a 20-year lease agreement in 2019. Delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the deal is now set to go forward with construction activities beginning this month and completion anticipated for early 2022. The development is on 13.7 acres of undeveloped county-owned land adjacent to Cucamonga-Guasti Regional Park at the corner of Archibald Avenue and Fourth Street in the City of Ontario. 

The agreement will bring in more than $625,000 a year to support the county’s system of regional parks (https://parks.sbcounty.gov/).

Topgolf plans to build a nearly 600,000-square foot facility at the county site, which will be similar in size and scope to other multi-level Topgolf venues. The new location will feature 102 hitting bays on three floors, plus a full-service restaurant and bar and event space for corporate and social events. The venue also plans to incorporate a mini-golf component at a later date for all to enjoy.  

In addition to the jobs that will be created during construction, Topgolf will hire more than 400 employees once the venue is completed and operational. 

Chairman Hagman came up with the idea of using the land for a golf-related attraction and shared that with the County Real Estate Services Department, which approached Topgolf.

“The County Real Estate Services Department deserves a lot of praise and credit for reaching out to Topgolf with the idea of making county-owned land the company’s first Southern California location,” Chairman Hagman said. 

“Topgolf chose the County of San Bernardino due to its convenient regional location to the Inland Empire, strong retail performance, and large and growing population base,” said Chris Callaway, Chief Development Officer with Topgolf. “Being positioned just north of I-10 and west of I-15 enables our Topgolf venue to connect with and entertain many communities and businesses throughout the region.” 

“San Bernardino County has been great to work with and has been very business-friendly. Throughout the deal process, they solved issues as we progressed in finalizing the transaction, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership together,” Callaway added.

The Topgolf concept is built on a foundation of community, inclusivity and fun, and is truly a game for everyone. The technology-driven experience is centered on guests hitting patented, microchipped golf balls into targets on the outfield while playing classic Topgolf games. Guests can also enjoy a chef-driven food and beverage menu in their outdoor hitting bays while safely enjoying the outdoor fun. What started as a simple idea to enhance the game of golf has now evolved into a best-in-class hospitality entertainment venue centered on a game that is accessible and appealing to all, regardless of skill or ability. The dynamic atmosphere, engaging staff, and innovative games combine to provide a truly unique experience.

Over the course of the initial 20-year ground lease, once construction is completed and Topgolf is open for business, the county will receive more than $625,000 in annual revenue, benefiting the San Bernardino County Regional Parks system, which includes nine regional parks throughout the county and several other recreational attractions.

The County Real Estate Services Department first approached Topgolf more than four years ago. Given the location of the land coupled with the socio-economic demographics of the area and recreational use restrictions, the county believed that Topgolf was an ideal fit for the site and developed a strategy to attract the company. 

Part of the county’s initial outreach strategy to Topgolf included the county retaining the services of JLL Retail Group in Ontario. On the county’s behalf, JLL made contact with Topgolf’s brokerage representatives from The Retail Connection out of Dallas, Texas. Those connections facilitated the county’s introduction to Topgolf, which led to initial discussions and negotiations for Topgolf to lease the land from the county. This strategic initiative by the county resulted in the ground lease deal with Topgolf that was approved by the Board of Supervisors on April 30, 2019.

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