Palisades Country Club Receives Multimillion-Dollar PPP Loan While Collecting Full Dues

$2.5 to $5 million Paycheck Protection Program loan goes to Riviera Country Club

By Sam Catanzaro

An elite Pacific Palisades country club–who counts among its celebrity members the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury–received a multimillion-dollar small business loan from the federal government while allegedly laying off employees and still collecting full dues from its members despite being closed due to COVID-19.

On Monday, July, 6 the Trump Administration released data showing all recipients of loans through the $669-billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Riviera Country Club, located at 250 Capri Drive in Pacific Palisades, is the only country club in the City of Los Angeles to receive a PPP loan. According to records, Riviera’s loan was between $2.5 to $5 million. In addition, records show Bel-Air Bay Club, also in Pacific Palisades but considered a beach club, received a loan of the same range while collecting dues, according to a source.

Multiple sources have confirmed that U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin is among Riviera Country Club’s current members along with Larry David–who raised over $150,000 for caddies–Jack Nicholson, Adam Sandler and Luke Wilson. Former members include Walt Disney, Dean Martin and Howard Hughes
 
Despite applying for and accepting the loan, during its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Riviera Country Club collected full dues from its members as confirmed by three members of the club who wish to remain anonymous fearing retaliation from the club. According to one of these members, these dues range from $400 to $1,100 a month. In addition, a member says that after the club was shut down every member was charged an activity fee.

“It is shocking to get your members to pay full dues and you still need to apply for a loan and you know you are charging this bogus activity fee that was just another line item for them to receive,” a member said. “The second they told us ‘we are looking at protecting our employees and not laying them off so therefore we [members] have to pay full dues’. I knew that was just an excuse. I knew that the second we came back we are going to see employees gone. The fact that they accessed this PPP loan is of no surprise to me. The fact that they were able to get it is a bigger surprise to me.”

According to a member, most Riviera Country Club members were under the impression that the club would not be applying for a PPP loan, saying multiple employees verbally stated that the club would not be getting a loan. In addition, a member told Palisades News that at the beginning of April some members received an email saying that they were paying full dues in order to keep employees on the payroll. A member, however, says that this does not seem to be the case.

“It’s the principle that is the problem,” the member said. “I care about the fact that they are charging us full dues and this activity fee and they are promising they are not going to lay off our employees and we get back and half the employees I don’t see anymore. So where are those guys?”

When asked what they hope the club’s response should be, members say that the club should prove that they actually needed it for the reasons the PPP was created, which was primarily for employees so they don’t lose their jobs and for businesses to be able to continue once they reopen.

“I am not sitting here being the judge or jury here, they just need to follow whatever the requirements of the PPP loan are. If they qualify for it, then they qualify for it, but they need to prove financials. The problem with a private club is they get to do everything in a black box. Nobody knows what they are doing,” a member said.

Palisades News has reached out to Riviera Country Club multiple times with questions and for comment but has not received a response at the time of publishing. Bel-Air Bay Club has also not responded to a request for comment.

Members acknowledged that while closed the club had to maintain the grass on the golf course, Riviera likely had little overhead from the tennis side.

“The tennis courts have literally no maintenance. Every few years they have to resurface them. So when they closed for the pandemic, they literally removed the water fountains off the courts so they didn’t I think have electricity running,” a member said. “So from the tennis side, even though their revenue may have gone down and they are paying employees’ salaries, they did not have additional overhead to cover either.” 

While Riviera was the only country club in Los Angeles to receive a loan, several other golf and tennis clubs outside the city in Southern California were approved for PPP loans. With the exception of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, Toscana Country Club and Claremont Tennis Club, none of the other clubs received loans more than $1,000,000. Other loan recipients, as detailed in the chart below, include Palm Springs Tennis Club, Glendale’s Chevy Chase Country Club and San Diego Tennis and Racquet Club.

Southern California Country, Tennis and Golf Clubs Receiving PPP Loans

Club CityLoan Amount
Riviera Country ClubLos Angeles$2M-$5M
Bel-Air Bay ClubLos Angeles$2M-$5M
La Jolla Beach & Tennis ClubLa Jolla$2M-$5M
Toscana Country ClubIndian Wells$1M-$2M
Claremont Tennis ClubClaremont$1M-$2M
Palm Springs Tennis ClubPalms Springs$350K-$1M
Alta Vista Country ClubPlacentia$350K-$1M
Altadena Town & Country ClubAltadena$350K-$1M
Andalusia Country ClubLa Quinta$350K-$1M
Glendora Country ClubGlendora$350K-$1M
Chevy Chase Country ClubGlendale$150K-$350K
Desert Falls Country ClubPalm Desert$150K-$350K
Indian Palms Country Club & ResortIndio$150K-$350K
San Diego Tennis Racquet ClubSan Diego$150K-$350K
West End Racquet & Health ClubTorrance$150K-$350K
Pierpont Racquet ClubVentura$150K-$350K
South End Racquet & Health ClubTorrance$150K-$350K
Data: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses/sba-paycheck-protection-program-loan-level-data

Riviera Country Club and Mnuchin have both made local headlines in recent months. In May, Riviera was shut down by the Los Angeles City Attorney for opening in violation of stay at home orders. Also in May Mnuchin made headlines when Brentwood School–where Mnuchin’s children allegedly attend–received and then returned a PPP loan.

Related Posts

Michelle Bisnoff Arrested for $2 Million Investor Fraud Scheme

July 19, 2024

July 19, 2024

CEO of ESOS Rings Faces Securities and Wire Fraud Charges A Boca Raton woman was arrested today on charges of...

Even After Improvements, Santa Monica Beach Still Ranks as L.A.’s Most Polluted

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

A New Report Cites “Continuous Urban Activities” in the Area That Exacerbate Pollution By Zach Armstrong Water quality concerns continue to...

Pierson Playhouse to Present ‘Ride the Cyclone (High School Edition)’

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

The Tpteen Production Features a Cast of 13 Youth Actors Theatre Palisades Teen (TPTeen) is set to stage the cult...

Police Drone Catches Car Burglar in the Act, Suspect Apprehended

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

The Drone as a First Responder Program Incorporates a Sworn Officer Pilot Who Flies the Drone From a Launch Site...

New Summer Menu Introduced at SALT Restaurant & Bar

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

To Complement These Dishes, Salt Offers Two New Cocktails SALT, the waterfront restaurant at Marina del Rey Hotel, has introduced...

Charlie XCX-Themed Event Coming to Venice West

July 18, 2024

July 18, 2024

Many Have Referred to the Season as “Brat Girl Summer” By Zach Armstrong Venice Beach is going to be ‘bumpin’ that....

LAFD Rescues Two Hikers in Pacific Palisades Over Weekend

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

The Incidents Occurred About 7 Miles Apart By Zach Armstrong In two separate incidents over the weekend, one day apart...

Renowned L.A. Nursery Opens Fourth Location in Santa Monica

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

It Is a Transformation of an Abandoned Car Wash Into a Vibrant Garden Space L.A.-based nursery Rolling Greens has opened...

Judge Issues Final Ruling in Favor of Barrington Plaza Tenants Association

July 17, 2024

July 17, 2024

Decision against Landlord Finds Intent Does Not Meet Ellis Act Standards The final ruling in the case of the Barrington...

Power Outage Leaves Over 300 Without Electricity in Pacific Pali

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

DWP Crews Assessed the Cause of the Disruption More than 300 people were without electricity in Pacific Palisades following a...

LAPD and Family Seek Public’s Help to Locate Missing 69-Year-Old Woman

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

Beryl Angela Thomas Last Seen in Fairfax Area; May Be Disoriented The family of Beryl Angela Thomas and detectives from...

Residents Sue City of Los Angeles For Stalling Affordable Housing Development

July 16, 2024

July 16, 2024

The New Lawsuit Also Comes After Two Separate l.a. Superior Court Rulings Rejected a Coalition’s Multi-Year Effort to Halt the...

Olympic Golf Is Coming to the Pacific Palisades

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

To Host the World’s Finest Is Fitting for the West L.A. Course By Zach Armstrong In the Summer of 2028,...

Child Abductor Arrested After Victim Rescued: Report

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

Officers Reportedly Located the Child and Suspect Nearly 30 Minutes After a 911 Call A 4-year-old girl who was abducted...

Los Angeles Woman Sentenced to 35 Years to Life for Murder of Michael Latt

July 15, 2024

July 15, 2024

35 Years to Life for Woman Who Killed Social Justice Advocate Jameelah Michl was sentenced to 35 years to life...