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Until further notice: Ellis Country Club remains closed

By KLINT SPILLER

kspiller@dailynews.net

ELLIS -- The Ellis Country Club is closed, and it is uncertain when it might reopen.

The Ellis Country Club officially has been closed since January while Equity Bank deals with the club's foreclosure, but some golfers have continued using the course even though the clubhouse wasn't open.

However, some golfers have been turned away, and Ellis High School recently was forced to change the format of its I-70 Classic Golf Tournament at the last minute.

The all-day meet originally was created so the teams would play 18-hole rounds in Ellis and WaKeeney, but after receiving word of the course's total closure, the school reduced the tournament to just 18 holes in WaKeeney.

Ellis High School principal Corey Burton said Ellis Superintendent Bob Young received a phone call Wednesday after lunch from a representative of Equity Bank stating the course officially was closed and the tournament, which was to be played the next morning, would have to be relocated.

"Our golf coach really put a lot of time and effort getting that set up and designed," Burton said. "I think a lot of our kids looked forward to playing in that type of a tournament format as well."

Though the Ellis Country Club is closed, the city clerk's office said utilities have not been shut off to the property.

According to Mayor David McDaniel, the city owns most of the property and has leased it to the country club for the past 99 years, and that lease contract is still intact.

McDaniel said he has noticed a growing frustration in the community regarding the foreclosure.

"We need to get this settled," McDaniel said. "We have a very beautiful and valid course here in Ellis. We need to get it back up and going."

Equity Bank is responsible for the sale of the Ellis Country Club, but Tim Waite, president of Equity Bank's western Kansas operations, said the bank will decline to comment on the foreclosure until the sale has been completed.