Brookhaven Country Club still seeking resort status

Published 9:06 pm Monday, May 15, 2017

When Brookhaven County Club filed for a resort status, the intention was simple, said one of the owners — provide the supply to meet the demand.

Part of that demand is for the sale of beer and liquor outside the hours that are currently permitted by municipal law.

Current city laws permit the sale of alcohol at the country club during regular business hours. The only excluded times are between the hours of midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. Monday on weekends, and weeknights between midnight and 7 a.m. the following morning.

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“As a resort, any function can be held at any hour,” co-owner Ricky Salyer said, “such as seminars and any out-of-town functions.”

Some tennis tournaments continue past midnight, he said, and resort status would allow them to remain open for any such event.

Gaining resort status would allow both the club and community to attract more people, he said. People want to be able to have wedding receptions and other social gatherings at the club, restaurant and bar, and Salyer said, “We’re trying to be the supply for the demand.”

Rep. Becky Currie, R-Brookhaven, authored a bill in the Mississippi House of Representatives that would grant resort status to the club, if passed. The bill survived the Senate and eventually made its way to the desk of the governor in mid-April.

Just when it seemed the resort status was a done deal, Gov. Phil Bryant vetoed the bill that would have granted it. Bryant said he was not in favor of certain items that had been tied into the original bill and the only way to avoid approval of those items as well was to veto the bill as it was received.

Currie noted then that the governor has assured her he wants to help find a place to put the issue in special session that starts June 5.

Currie said in April that Bryant called her just after he rejected the bill, to explain his stand on it. He told her he understood the club had new owners, Currie said, and he wanted to help her, the club and the city of Brookhaven.

She’s trying to find a way to get it in the special session, but if not, she’s hopeful the Brookhaven Board of Aldermen will approve the resort status. “If I can’t get this squeezed into a bill, hopefully they’ll do it for them,” she said.

Salyer is appreciative.

“I cannot emphasize enough what a great job (Sen.) Sally Doty and Becky Currie did with this bill, and I’m very happy with Gov. Bryant’s explanation,” said Salyer.

Salyer said they would continue to go through the right channels in the right ways.

“We try to listen to what people want and give them what they want,” he said. “We are going to supply those to the best of our ability, and Brookhaven Country Club will be a viable entity as it has been in many years past.”