Mill Town Capital, which purchased Skyline Country Club in Lanesborough for $750,000 last month, was only interested in the property because of the solar fields that are planned for the site, the investment firm’s CEO said. “It was kind of an economic transaction, really,” Tim Burke said.

{child_kicker}Skyline Country Club{/child_kicker}

{child_flags:featured}Mill Town turning golf to solar

{child_byline}By Tony Dobrowolski, The Berkshire Eagle{/child_byline}

LANESBOROUGH — Mill Town Capital has added Skyline Country Club to its recent acquisitions of Berkshire County recreational facilities. But, the property no longer will have a recreational use, because its 58-year-old golf course has been closed.

CEO Tim Burke said the Pittsfield-based private investment firm intends to comply with the agreements that Skyline’s former owner, Jim Mitus, had reached with developers to place two solar fields on the property, on the north and south sides of the former golf course. Mitus had planned to lease the parcels to the solar field developers, according to Eagle files.

The property consists of three parcels, according to the deed. Mill Town, which purchased Skyline from Mitus for $750,000 last month, was only interested in the property because of the solar fields, Burke said.

“It was kind of an economic transaction, really,” Burke said.

Engie North America, a Paris-based global energy company, was supposed to begin construction of a 4.5-megawatt solar field on the back nine holes on the north side of the property last fall, after the golf course closed for the season. But, the company asked for more time.

Mitus, who has retained a piece of the solar development project, said construction is expected to begin in the spring.

In October, the town’s Planning Board granted a special permit to Pillar LLC of New Bedford for the second project, a 5-megawatt solar array that will be located on the south side of the property, where the front nine holes are. Mitus, who had owned Skyline since 1984, said in August that he wasn’t sure if the golf course would open at all this year.

“In the best-case scenario, it could have been nine holes for another year or two because once the first solar program started, there would have been enough for nine holes,” Mitus said last week. “But, when the second project went forward, it didn’t make sense to try and keep it.

“The prior owner sold the golf carts and other equipment with the intention of closing the golf course,” Burke said. “Those were all decisions made before we got involved.”

According to documents filed at the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds in Adams, the Skyline property includes a deed restriction that requires 50 acres of the club’s first parcel to remain as a golf course. That restriction was formed in 1992, but its influence is about to expire.

According to state law, such restrictions are limited to 30 years of enforceability in Massachusetts. Burke said he wasn’t familiar enough with the restriction to comment on it, and Mitus said the restriction had no bearing on the property being sold.

Skyline opened as a nine-hole course in 1963, and expanded to 18 holes in 1994. Mill Town is the property’s fourth owner. The original owner, local contractor Peter Asci, sold the course to Pittsfield businessman Art Trasatti in 1973. Mitus, an All-American golfer his senior year at Springfield College, expanded the clubhouse in 1986 before adding the additional nine holes eight years later.

When asked if it was difficult for him to part with the property, Mitus said, “Emotionally, yes; financially, no.”

“It’s been terrible for the last 10 years,” he said, regarding the number of golfers who have been playing at Skyline, which was a public course. “There’s not a lot of money it. Financially, it was something that I kind of had to do. I had so many friends. I’d been there for 37 years, so, it was a tough decision to do that.”

This is the second golf course and third recreational property that Mill Town Capital has purchased in the past nine months. The group bought Bousquet Mountain Ski Area in May, then Pontoosuc Country Club in August. Mill Town has kept Bousquet as a ski area but has yet to release plans for what it plans to do with the golf course at Pontoosuc, which dates to the 1920s and didn’t open last year.

In conjunction with the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission, Mill Town also released a comprehensive recreational plan for the Berkshires in July.



Tony Dobrowolski can be reached at or 413-281-2755.