SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☒||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF|
|THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
|☐||TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF|
|THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
For the transition period from ________________________________ to ________________________________
Commission File Number: 001-31458
|Drive Shack Inc.|
|(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)|
|(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation||(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
10670 N. Central Expressway, Suite 700, Dallas, TX
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Zip Code)|
Registrant's telephone number, including area code: (646) 585-5591
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
Title of each class:
Name of exchange on which registered:
|Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share||DS|
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
|9.75% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share||DS-PB|
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
|8.05% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share||DS-PC|
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
|8.375% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, $0.01 par value per share||DS-PD|
New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
o Yes x No
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
o Yes x No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
x Yes o No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
x Yes o No
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company or an emerging growth company. See definition of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large Accelerated Filer o
Accelerated Filer x
Non-accelerated Filer o
Smaller Reporting Company ☐
Emerging Growth Company ☐
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. £
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404 (b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
☐ Yes x No
The aggregate market value of the common stock held by non-affiliates as of June 30, 2020 (computed based on the closing price on the last business day of the registrant's most recently completed second quarter as reported on the NYSE) was: $105.5 million.
The number of shares outstanding of the registrant’s common stock was 91,291,255 as of February 22, 2021.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement for the registrant's 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders, to be filed within 120 days of fiscal year-end, are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.
CAUTIONARY NOTE REGARDING FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This report contains certain “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, our operating performance, the performance of our investments, the stability of our earnings, and our financing needs. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by use of forward-looking terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “potential,” “intend,” “expect,” “endeavor,” “seek,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “overestimate,” “underestimate,” “believe,” “could,” “project,” “forecast,” “predict,” “continue” or other similar words or expressions. Forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions, discuss future expectations, describe future plans and strategies, contain projections of results of operations or of financial condition or state other forward-looking information. Our ability to predict results or the actual outcome of future plans or strategies is inherently uncertain. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based on reasonable assumptions, our actual results and performance could differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results in future periods to differ materially from forecasted results. Factors which could have a material adverse effect on our operations and future prospects include, but are not limited to:
|•||our ability to reopen and/or avoid future closure of our venues;|
factors impacting attendance, such as local conditions, contagious diseases, including COVID-19, or the perceived threat of contagious diseases, disturbances, natural disasters, and terrorist activities;
regulations and guidance of federal, state and local governments and health officials regarding the response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including with respect to business operations, safety protocols and public gatherings;
|•||our financial liquidity and ability to access capital;|
|•||the ability to retain and attract members and guests to our properties;|
|•||changes in global, national and local economic conditions, including, but not limited to, increases in unemployment levels, changes in consumer spending patterns, a prolonged economic slowdown and a downturn in the real estate market, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic;|
|•||effects of unusual weather patterns and extreme weather events, geographical concentrations with respect to our operations and seasonality of our business;|
|•||competition within the industries in which we operate or may pursue additional investments, including competition for sites for our Entertainment Golf venues;|
|•||material increases in our expenses, including but not limited to unanticipated labor issues, rent or costs with respect to our workforce, and costs of goods, utilities and supplies;|
|•||our inability to sell or exit certain properties, and unforeseen changes to our ability to develop, redevelop or renovate certain properties;|
|•||our ability to further invest in our business and implement our strategies;|
|•||difficulty monetizing our real estate debt investments;|
|•||liabilities with respect to inadequate insurance coverage, accidents or injuries on our properties, adverse litigation judgments or settlements, or membership deposits;|
|•||changes to and failure to comply with relevant regulations and legislation, including in order to maintain certain licenses and permits, and environmental regulations in connection with our operations;|
|•||inability to execute on our growth and development strategy by successfully developing, opening and operating new venues;|
|•||impacts of failures of our information technology and cybersecurity systems;|
|•||the impact of any current or further legal proceedings and regulatory investigations and inquiries; and|
|•||other risks detailed from time to time below, particularly under the heading “Risk Factors,” and in our other reports filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we refer to as the SEC in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.|
Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. The factors noted above could cause our actual results to differ significantly from those contained in any forward-looking statement.
Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements, which reflect our management’s views only as of the date of this report. We are under no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this report to conform these statements to actual results.
|DRIVE SHACK INC.|
|Removed and Reserved|
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Item 1. Business.
Drive Shack Inc., which we refer to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, together with its subsidiaries, as the Company, we and us, is an owner and operator of golf-related leisure and social entertainment venues and courses focused on bringing people together through competitive socializing, by combining sports and entertainment with elevated food and beverage offerings. The Company was formed in 2002 and its common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol as “DS.” Our mission is to become the largest venue-based competitive socializing and entertainment platform in the country.
We conduct our business through three operating segments: (1) Entertainment Golf, (2) Traditional Golf and (3) corporate.
•Entertainment Golf | Drive Shack
Drive Shack offers leisure and social entertainment through its golf-related leisure and large-format entertainment venues with gaming and premier golf technology, a chef-inspired menu, craft cocktails, and engaging social events throughout the year. Each Drive Shack venue features expansive, climate-controlled, suite style bays with lounge seating; augmented-reality golf games and virtual course play; a restaurant and multiple bars; an outdoor patio with lawn games; and arcade games.
As of December 31, 2020, the Company owned or leased four Drive Shack venues located in Orlando, Florida; West Palm Beach, Florida; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Richmond, Virginia. Additionally, the Company is committed to leases in New Orleans, Louisiana and in Manhattan (Randall’s Island), New York for its entertainment golf venues. Drive Shack venues are freestanding 60,000 square feet open-air venues built on approximately 12 acres.
•Traditional Golf | American Golf
American Golf, acquired by the Company in December 2013, is one of the largest operators of golf properties in the United States. As an owner, lessee, and manager of golf courses and country clubs for over 45 years, we believe American Golf is one of the most experienced operators in the traditional golf industry. As of December 31, 2020, we owned, leased or managed 60 properties across 9 states, and have more than 30,000 members. American Golf is focused on delivering lasting experiences for our guests who played over 2.2 million rounds at our properties during 2020.
Our traditional golf operations are organized into three principal categories based on the nature of the revenue streams generated by the following properties: (1) public properties (leased and owned), (2) private properties (leased and owned) and (3) managed properties (public and private).
Public Properties. Our 30 leased public properties generate revenues principally through daily green fees, golf cart rentals and food, beverage and merchandise sales. Amenities at these properties generally include practice facilities, pro shops and food and beverage facilities. At certain locations, our public properties have larger clubhouses with extensive banquet facilities. In addition, The Players Club is a fee-based monthly membership program offered at most of our public properties, with membership benefits ranging from daily range access and off-peak course access to the ability to participate in golf clinics.
Private Properties. Our five leased or owned private properties, which are open primarily to members and their guests, generate revenues principally through initiation fees, membership dues, food, beverage and merchandise sales, and guest fees. Amenities at these properties typically include practice facilities, full-service clubhouses with a pro shop, locker room facilities and multiple food and beverage outlets, including grills, restaurants and banquet facilities.
Managed Properties. Our 25 managed properties are operated by American Golf pursuant to management agreements with the owners of each property. We recognize revenue from each of these properties in an amount equal to a management fee and the reimbursements of certain operating costs.
During 2020, the Company sold one public owned golf property for an aggregate sale price of $34.5 million, resulting in a gain of $16.6 million. As of December 31, 2020, we have successfully sold 25 of our 26 owned golf properties for a total aggregate sales price of $204.2 million.
During 2020, the Company entered into a total of four new management agreements. One of the new management agreements related to the golf property sold during the year and another related to a terminated lease but in both instances, the Company was retained as manager.
See Note 5 in Part II, Item 8 “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for additional information.
We believe that golf as a sport and form of entertainment continues to expand from spending time at an elite exclusive country club to include a more hip, upbeat, social experience, which increases demand across a broader potential base of customers. As a result of this expansion, the hospitality and leisure spaces associated with these new forms of a traditional sport are evolving to appeal to a different, vibrant and new audience and customer base in the leisure and entertainment industry.The rapidly growing competitive socializing market combines entertainment, sports, and dining to address the shift in consumer preferences for social and interactive experiences. This more than $1 trillion market is led by the interest of the 72-million-person millennial segment of consumers. Research across this segment indicates that 78% of millennials prefer to spend money on an experience versus buying something material and that 70% of consumers prefer to dine at entertainment formats versus traditional casual restaurants for group occasions.
As we build our brand through the existing operation of Drive Shack locations and through the new Puttery locations, we continue to strengthen our position in this growing industry. We believe there is significant opportunity for Drive Shack to capture market share given the industry disruption from the COVID-19 pandemic and the structural decline of dated businesses, coupled with the rising demand for social and interactive entertainment options. We have strategically aligned our Drive Shack and Puttery businesses to provide competitive, social and interactive experiences to capitalize on this unique and timely opportunity, as we feel other entertainment concepts in our industry have failed to address the shift in consumer preferences. There are a variety of consumers who seek out active socializing options. We will use data and testing to understand their unique drivers and mindsets, test consumer behaviors, spending habits, and finally optimize to find the most effective way to target, acquire, and retain consumers.
We believe Drive Shack is the only company comprised of a truly integrated portfolio of both Entertainment and Traditional Golf businesses, which provides us with a unique opportunity to unlock top site locations by leveraging the operational experiences and municipal relationships developed by our Traditional Golf business.
•New Venue Development and Growth | Puttery
The Puttery is our new, indoor entertainment golf experience set to debut in summer 2021, with the first two venues opening in Dallas, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina
Puttery is expected to expand our business by diversifying our experiential offerings with a modern spin on indoor mini golf through auto-scoring technology that presents digital scores to guests in real-time. Each location will feature a series of tech-enabled miniature golf courses anchored by bars and other social spaces and exceptional food and beverage offerings that will serve to create engaging and fun experiences for our guests.
Our Puttery venues require much less space, approximately 15,000 – 20,000 sq. ft. of indoor new or existing retail space. The new smaller format is expected to expand venue potential by hundreds of markets due to the vast availability of real estate, shorter development timelines, less capital risk and higher development yields compared to large format venues.
Puttery enables us to expand our national footprint with growth potential across hundreds of markets due to shorter development timelines, lower capital risk and higher potential development yields. Advanced data and demographic analytics will allow us to strategically evaluate and develop a robust pipeline of target sites in prioritized markets across the United States. As we look to further grow our Puttery brand, the smaller format offers us the opportunity to improve investment returns and take advantage of the vast availability of retail space at a potential discount.
Today, we have agreements in place with landlords to develop our first two Puttery locations. We plan to launch our first Puttery in the summer of 2021 in Dallas, Texas, followed soon thereafter by a second location in Charlotte, North Carolina. We will analyze the performance of these first two locations, assessing whether results are in line with our projections and financial expectations. Optimizations and adjustments will be made, if needed, to further refine our operational and financial models as we expand our Puttery national footprint. We have previously announced plans for
an additional five Puttery locations that will open or be near completion by the end of 2021 and open an additional 10 locations by the end of 2022.
•A Modernized Socializing Experience
Current Consumer Preferences. Our portfolio of current and future entertainment venues directly addresses consumers’ changing preferences and provides a new type of leisure with multiple experiences under one roof, including:
•Social Entertainment – A unique and curated experience where guests can interact, compete and socialize in a sophisticated, fun setting.
•Sports – Technology forward activities and robust gaming platforms that promote competition and create unique and lasting experiences.
•Food & Beverage – A complete social experience is rounded out by exceptional food and beverage options. Along with heightened visual and audio cues, craft cocktails and curated food choices will enhance the overall experience for every consumer.
•Inclusivity – An activity and experience that allows everyone to participate and enjoy, regardless of skill level.
Our focus is on creating an environment that enables friendly competition and connecting with friends and family, providing our guests with memorable and meaningful experiences. These experiences are designed to cater to a range of audiences and competitive appetites, to attract new guests and to drive loyalty and advocacy among our existing guests.
Innovation. Golf as a sport and form of entertainment continues to transform. We believe innovation is at the essence of creating the modernized, broadly appealing golf and entertainment experience. In an industry with a high degree of competition, innovation serves as a key differentiator. We strive to innovate across all our offerings including technology powered golf games, food and beverage menu offerings, and venue formats. Our proprietary gaming software allows us the ability to consistently develop and launch new games. In 2021, we also plan to introduce Puttery, our new smaller format venues, providing a modern spin on the classic game of mini golf through the innovative use of auto-scoring technology that presents digital scores to guests in real-time.
Technology. We have arrangements with our golf ball tracking technology partners for both our Drive Shack venues and new smaller format Puttery venues. We pair these ball-tracking technologies with our in-house proprietary gaming software to create state-of-the-art gaming experiences. We have purposefully designed our gaming software to be ultra-flexible, allowing us to develop, test, and launch new games continuously.
Our Drive Shack venues are equipped with radar-based TrackMan™ technology, which provides precision ball tracking, in real time, affording us the ability to bring our augmented reality gaming to the next level. Our proprietary gaming software provides us with the unique ability to continuously develop and release cutting edge, fun and engaging games. Our current suite of proprietary games includes Darts, Monster Hunt, ShackJack and Pro Range. We intend to refresh our existing games and supplement with new releases periodically. In addition, our partnership with TrackMan™ provides our guests with access to an extensive portfolio of world-famous virtual golf courses. These games and virtual golf courses are suitable for all skill sets and competitive appetites.
Elevated Food & Beverage. Our venues feature chef-inspired food offerings alongside inventive craft cocktails. Our menus feature a thoughtfully curated selection of shareable food options, further enabling the socializing nature of our venues. In March 2020, we launched a new food menu focusing on upscaling our menu items. Our new menu is designed and tailored to consumer preferences and lifestyle trends, offering unique flavors, and high-quality fresh ingredients to create a premium selection of options to appeal to our broad range of guests.
Alongside our new food menu, will be our revamped beverage offerings that will feature a variety of beers, craft cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails, canned wine and seltzers, and premium spirits. Our beer selection will consist of local and regional craft beers that will vary by venue locations. In certain locations, we have partnerships with local breweries which source and produce exclusive beverages in both our Drive Shack and Puttery venues.
We plan to rollout new seasonal or limited time offerings, to supplement our core menu and give our guests more reasons to keep coming back as well as attract new guests.
Events. Our venues provide an electric atmosphere for experiential event options spanning corporate events to social gatherings. Each venue features climate-controlled bays, 300-plus television screens, a rooftop terrace with fire pits, and private indoor and outdoor meeting spaces fully equipped with A/V technology and wi-fi, that can accommodate a variety of group sizes up to 1,200 guests. Our event packages feature an elevated chef-inspired catering menu and beverage packages, that are customizable to our guests. Our dedicated event team handles everything from planning to execution to create memorable and meaningful experiences for all our event participants.
While the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on our large group events business in 2020, we promoted unique, safe and socially distant packages for small group gatherings. Our 2-Bay Package was created to encourage small event bookings across our Drive Shack locations, which allows for groups of 10 people or less to reserve two bays and includes a generous food and beverage credit and two hours of golf play.
•Site selection, development, and the experience
Site Selection. Our site selection process is integral to the successful execution of our growth strategy. Our site selection process is led by our Real Estate Committee and integrates a variety of analytical measures with an evaluation of key factors of the overall quality and viability of potential sites. These factors include but are not limited to size and quality of land and existing real estate space; population demographics, such as target population density and household income levels; competition levels in the market; site visibility, accessibility and traffic volume; proximity to other entertainment facilities, restaurants and bars; and market or landlord incentives.
Venue Development. Our Drive Shack venue formats are generally open-air 60,000 square feet venues on average built on approximately 12 to 15 acres of land. This format features 72 to 96 plus climate-controlled bays with lounge seating and an approximately 200 yard outfield. The total investment cost of a new Drive Shack venue ranges from $25 to $40 million. We may either enter into a long-term ground lease or purchase the land for our Drive Shack venue format. The average development time for our large format Drive Shack venue is 18 to 24 months.
We are currently committed to leases in New Orleans, Louisiana and in Manhattan (Randall’s Island), New York for future Drive Shack entertainment golf venues.
Our new smaller format Puttery venues are targeted at between 15,000 to 20,000 square feet of existing indoor space. This format will feature multiple courses, depending on venue size and layout. The total investment cost of a new smaller format Puttery venue is expected to range from $7 to $11 million, exclusive of landlord incentives. We believe the development timeline for our new smaller format Puttery venues will average 6 to 9 months in total and will vary based on the unique layout of each venue.
We plan to open our first two Puttery venues in Dallas, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina in summer 2021 and plan to open or be near completion of five additional Puttery venues by the end of 2021.
On occasion, we expect that our various venue formats may be smaller or larger or cost more or less than our targeted range, depending on the specific circumstances of the selected site or market.
Transcending the Experience. At Drive Shack, we look to create meaningful and memorable experiences by combining world class golf technology, great drinks, delicious food and welcoming environments. Our Drive Shack venues are organized and designed to spread and amplify guest energy and revolutionize the golf and competitive socializing experience. We encourage our guests to interact with other guests by way of carefully placed bars and lounges, social event areas, outdoor patios and climate-controlled bays. The lighting, finishes and furniture are contemporary yet comfortable and are purposely organized for group interaction and a social atmosphere. Whether a golfer or not we want everyone to feel comfortable experiencing our version of golf.
Our new smaller format Puttery venues consist of character filled, exciting, adult focused mini-golf and leisure spaces with social interaction in mind. Each location is customized to create unique ways to mingle with your friends for a night out, have drinks with colleagues or meet new people. These bar forward mini-golf spaces blend vintage golf with upscale casual lifestyle through the strategic placement of the lounges, bars, courses and VIP spaces within each venue. The courses are intimate, transformative and designed specifically to keep people connected and socializing while playing technology enhanced mini golf. Beverage and food opportunities are plentiful with multiple bars and a full-service kitchen. Our lounge furniture and finishes are all created with a comfortable yet upscale experience.
•Growing Brand Awareness
Continuing to build and grow brand awareness is our priority. Our strategy consists of multiple layers, which includes local and national data and demographic profiles to identify interests and behaviors, competitors and consumption habits of our target consumers. We expect that our new agency partners are developing creative content and messaging that will both continue to grow our Drive Shack and American Golf business and bring the Puttery brand successfully to market. Marketing will always be a full funnel strategy, including paid and earned media, digital, social, video, out-of-home, events, customer relationship management (“CRM”), influencer marketing, content creation, and celebrity collaboration. Our CRM and loyalty programs are being built to help ensure that we are targeting and retaining our core consumers and using data driven analytics to build messaging that will grow retention and brand loyalty.
•Embracing Local Communities
Local Partnerships. Each Drive Shack venue prides itself on forging bonds with local partners in the community. For example, our core Drive Shack venue in Richmond has a continued partnership with a local brewery, which created and produces an exclusive premium beer for our venue; while our Drive Shack venue in Raleigh has recently partnered with a local female-owned brewery, to create a new, soon to be released, specialty beverage. We have also collaborated with a local specialty ice cream shop to create a new scratch rendition of the classic ice cream sandwich inspired by Drive Shack and Arnold Palmer, called the Chilly Palmer. We plan to continue to explore local partnerships and collaborations that may vary by venue and geographic location.
•Customized Programming and Promotions
Unique Programs. Our guest experience is enhanced by ongoing events and programs designed to engage a range of guest desires, including quarterly Social Leagues and Summer Swing Academy, which introduces young kids to golf in a fun, relaxed environment. Intended to drive new and repeat guests to our venues, we introduced Limited Time Offers ("LTOs") that are rolled out on a quarterly basis. The LTOs typically include three new food and three new beverage offerings that have been created and inspired by our talented chefs in each of our Drive Shack venues
We also have designed some of our programming around seasonal events, including March Madness, National Beer Day, and Easter, with our family themed Easter Egg Hunt. We prioritized innovating new ways for guests to compete within the venue and in 2020, we developed a new, repeatable tournament model, Drive Shack Open, for use at our large format entertainment venues. The Drive Shack Open is geared towards more competitive, avid golfers and is structured as a single-day tournament, with four-person teams, a team entry fee and prizes awarded to teams based on scores. In December 2020, we debuted our first Drive Shack Open tournament, which was met with huge demand as all available team slots were sold out in advance of the tournament. We have also developed an in-venue tournament model, Monster Hunt Challenge, that is geared towards less serious players and non-golfers. The Monster Hunt Challenge is structured as a 4-week tournament model built specifically for competition with "high score" tournament mentality for both groups and solo players, with unlimited entries at a low cost per entry fee and prizes awarded based on highest score.
Promotional Campaigns. We periodically develop promotional programs to attract new guests and increase the length of stay and spend per visitor. Our promotional programs include Happy Hour specials, offering discounted food and beverage selections during specified periods of time. We also launched a new winter promotion “$12 Tuesdays” offering $12 per hour bay play to appeal to our existing guests and to encourage new guests to experience our version of golf in climate-controlled bays. We also launched a 2-Bay promotional package in Fall 2020 that allows for groups of 10 guests or less to reserve two bays and includes a generous food and beverage credit and two hours of play for a reasonable set price. This has been a successful promotion and event revenue has increased meaningfully since the launch. Additionally, we offered a half-price game play promotion through most of 2020 following the reopening of our three Gen 2.0 Drive Shack venues in the second quarter after their temporary closures due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March 2020. In Orlando, we created a game play promotional pass in December 2020 upon the reopening of that venue.
We have registered the trademark Drive Shack® and American Golf® and their primary logos and the trademarks relating to Puttery and have registered or applied to register certain additional trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark
Office and in various foreign countries. We consider our trade name and our logo to be important features of our operations and seek to actively monitor and protect our interest in this property in the various jurisdictions where we operate. We also have certain trade secrets, such as our recipes, processes, proprietary information and certain software programs that we protect by requiring all of our employees to accept an agreement to keep trade secrets confidential in connection with their onboarding process.
Policies with Respect to Certain Other Activities
Subject to the approval of our board of directors, we have the authority to offer our common stock or other equity or debt securities to raise cash financing, in exchange for property and to repurchase or otherwise reacquire our shares or any other securities and may engage in such activities in the future. We also may make loans to, or provide guarantees of certain obligations of, our subsidiaries. We may engage in the purchase and sale of investments. Our officers and directors may change any of these policies and any investment guidelines without a vote of our stockholders. Our board of directors has the authority, without stockholder approval (subject in certain cases to NYSE shareholder approval requirements), to issue additional common stock or preferred stock in any manner and on such terms and for such consideration it deems appropriate, including in exchange for cash or property.
We operate in a highly competitive industry and compete primarily on the basis of location, featured facilities, quality and breadth of product offerings and price. As a result, competition for market share in the industry in which we compete is significant.
Our Entertainment Golf business competes with restaurants, dining and social clubs and other entertainment attractions including movie theaters, sporting events, bowling alleys, sports activity centers, arcades and entertainment centers, nightclubs and theme parks. Many of the entities operating these businesses are larger and better capitalized, have a greater number of stores, have been in business longer and are better established with stronger name recognition in the markets where our Entertainment Golf and new smaller format Puttery venues are located or are planned to be located. As a result, they may be able to invest greater resources than we can in attracting customers and succeed in attracting customers who would otherwise come to our venues. In addition, the competition is subject to frequent innovations in the products and services offerings which could significantly impact our ability to attract and retain new and recurring guests.
Our Traditional Golf properties compete on a local and regional level with other country clubs and golf properties. The level of competition in the Traditional Golf business varies from region to region and is subject to change as existing facilities are renovated or new facilities are developed.
For more information about the competition we face generally and in our Entertainment and Traditional Golf businesses specifically, see Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors-Risks Related to Our Business-Competition in the industry in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.”
Seasonality can affect our results of operations. Our Traditional Golf business is subject to seasonal fluctuations as colder temperatures and shorter days reduce the demand for outdoor activities. As a result, the Traditional Golf business generates a disproportionate share of its annual revenue in the second and third quarters of each year. In addition, our Entertainment Golf business and our new smaller format Puttery venues could be significantly impacted on a season-to-season basis, based on corporate event and social gathering volumes during holiday seasons and school vacation schedules. For this reason, a quarter-to-quarter comparison may not be a good indicator of our current and/or future performance.
Government Regulation of Our Business
Our properties and operations are subject to a number of environmental laws. As a result, we may be required to incur costs to comply with the requirements of these laws, such as those relating to water resources, discharges to air, water and land, the handling and disposal of solid and hazardous waste and the cleanup of properties affected by regulated materials. Under these and other environmental requirements, we may be required to investigate and clean up hazardous or toxic substances or chemical releases from currently owned, formerly owned or operated facilities.
Environmental laws typically impose cleanup responsibility and liability on a property owner without regard to whether the property owner knew of or caused the presence of the contaminants. We may use certain substances and generate certain wastes that may be deemed hazardous or toxic under such laws, and from time to time have incurred, and in the future may incur, costs related to cleaning up contamination resulting from historic uses by us or by previous owners of certain of our current or former properties or our treatment, storage or disposal of wastes at facilities owned by others. Our facilities are also subject to risks associated with mold, asbestos and other indoor building contaminants. The costs of investigation, remediation or removal of regulated materials may be substantial, and the presence of those substances, or the failure to remediate a property properly, may impair our ability to use, transfer or obtain financing for our property. We may be required to incur costs to remediate potential environmental hazards, mitigate environmental risks in the future, or comply with other environmental laws and regulations.
In addition, in order to build, improve, upgrade or expand some of our facilities, we may be subject to environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act and, for projects in California, the California Environmental Quality Act. Both acts require that a specified government agency study any proposal for potential environmental impacts and include in its analysis various alternatives. Any improvement proposal may not be approved or may be approved with modifications that substantially increase the cost or decrease the desirability of implementing the project.
We are also subject to regulation by the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration and similar health and safety laws in other jurisdictions. These regulations impact a number of aspects of operations, including golf course maintenance and food handling and preparation.
The ownership and operation of our facilities subjects us to federal, state and local laws regulating zoning, land development, land use, building design and construction, and other real estate-related laws and regulations.
Our facilities and operations are subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which we refer to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as the ADA. The ADA generally requires that we remove architectural barriers when readily achievable so that our facilities are made accessible to people with disabilities. In addition, the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, included additional compliance requirements for golf facilities and recreational areas. Noncompliance could result in imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. Federal legislation or regulations may further amend the ADA to impose more stringent requirements with which we would have to comply.
We are also subject to various local, state and federal laws, regulations and administrative practices affecting our business. For instance, we must comply with provisions regulating equal employment, wage and hour practices and licensing requirements and regulations for the sale of food and alcoholic beverages.
On February 23, 2017, the Company revoked its election to be treated as a real estate investment trust, or a REIT, effective January 1, 2017. The Company operated in a manner intended to qualify as a REIT for federal income tax purposes through December 31, 2016. Since January 1, 2017, we have generally been subject to federal and state income tax on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, and distributions to stockholders paid on or after January 1, 2017 are not deductible by us in computing our taxable income. Any such corporate tax liability could be substantial. Although we have net operating loss carryforwards that may be available to reduce our taxable income for U.S. federal and state income tax purposes and thereby reduce such tax liability, a portion of such carryforwards may be limited in its use due to certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, which we refer to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as the Code. Therefore, no assurances can be given that those losses will remain usable or will not become subject to limitations (including under the "ownership change" provisions under Section 382 of the Code). In particular, if the Company has undergone or were to undergo an “ownership change” for purposes of Section 382 of the Code, the Company could incur materially greater tax liability than if the Company had not undergone such an ownership change. For additional information, see Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors-Risks Related to our Tax Status and the 1940 Act.”
As of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 551 employees in our Entertainment Golf segment including: 481 hourly venue employees, 36 venue managers and 34 corporate personnel.
As of December 31, 2020, there were approximately 2,512 employees in our Traditional Golf segment: 2,220 hourly course employees, 258 course managers and 34 corporate personnel.
As of December 31, 2020, there were nine employees in our Corporate segment.
The number of Company employees represented by unions, and solely within the Traditional Golf business, is insignificant. We believe our current relations with our employees are good.
We emphasize the importance of professional business conduct and ethics through our corporate governance initiatives. Our board of directors consists of a majority of independent directors under the NYSE listing standards. The Audit, Compensation and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committees of our board of directors are composed exclusively of independent directors. We have adopted corporate governance guidelines and a code of business conduct and ethics, which delineate our standards for our directors, officers and employees.
Where Readers Can Find Additional Information
The Company files annual, quarterly and current reports, proxy statements and other information required by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which we refer to in this Annual Report on Form 10-K as the Exchange Act, with the SEC. Our SEC filings are available to the public from the SEC’s internet site at http://www.sec.gov.
Our internet site for our stockholders and other interested parties is http://ir.driveshack.com. We make available free of charge through our internet site our annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, proxy statements and Forms 3, 4 and 5 filed on behalf of directors and executive officers and any amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file such material with, or furnish it to, the SEC. Also posted on our website in the "Investor Relations-Corporate Governance” section are charters for the Company’s Audit Committee, Compensation Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, as well as our Corporate Governance Guidelines and our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics governing our directors, officers and employees. Information on, or accessible through, our website is not a part of, and is not incorporated into, this report.
Item 1A. Risk Factors
An investment in our common stock involves risk and uncertainties. In addition to the information contained elsewhere in this Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings that we make with the SEC, the following risk factors should be carefully considered in evaluating our business or making an investment decision involving our common stock. The occurrence or manifestation in whole or in part of any of the following risks could harm our business, financial conditions and results of operations, cash flows and/or the trading price of our common stock. In addition, our actual performance could differ materially from any results expressed or implied by forward-looking statements contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K, in any of our other filings with the SEC and other communications by us, both written and oral, depending on a variety of factors, including the risks and uncertainties described below. Our business is also subject to general risks and uncertainties that affect many other companies, including, but not limited to, overall economic and industry conditions, and additional risks and uncertainties that are currently not known or we believe are immaterial may also have a material negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Business and Industry
The current COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted, and may continue to disrupt, our business, and may continue to have a material adverse effect on our business, operations and results of operations.
Pandemics or disease outbreaks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have, and may continue to have, a negative impact on customer traffic at our entertainment golf and traditional golf venues, which makes it more difficult to staff our venues. We have experienced, or may experience, closures, difficulty in obtaining supplies and/or increases to commodity costs, potentially for prolonged periods of time. We also may need to limit the number of people that use our facilities at any given time. State and local governmental authorities have imposed various restrictions and other measures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, which also have negatively impacted our business operations. State and local governments in the United States that previously removed or eased restrictions on certain businesses, including ours during the second quarter of 2020, may reintroduce restrictions in the future, as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to be dynamic and expanding, and its ultimate scope, duration and effects remain uncertain. For example, we may be required to limit the hours in which we are permitted to serve food and beverages.
In addition, our operations have been further disrupted when our employees or employees of our business partners are suspected of having COVID-19 or other illnesses since this has required us or our business partners to quarantine some or all such employees and close and disinfect our impacted restaurant facilities. If a significant percentage of our workforce or the workforce of our business partners are unable to work, including as result of illness or travel or government restrictions in connection with pandemics or disease outbreaks, our operations may be negatively impacted, potentially materially adversely affecting our business, liquidity, financial condition or results of operations. This could also cause a delay in our ability to build our facilities and implement our strategies. In addition, we are required by local and state regulations to report employees who have contracted or been exposed to the virus.
Furthermore, such viruses may be transmitted through human contact, and the risk of contracting viruses, or the perceived risk of infection or health risk, could continue to cause employees or guests to avoid gathering in public places, such as our venues, which adversely impacts our guest traffic and our ability to adequately staff venues. We have been adversely affected when government authorities have imposed and continue to impose restrictions on public gatherings, human interactions, operations of restaurants or mandatory closures, seek voluntary closures, restrict hours of operations or impose curfews, restrict the import or export of products or if suppliers issue mass recalls of products. Additional regulation or requirements with respect to the compensation of our employees could also have an adverse effect on our business. Additionally, different jurisdictions have seen varying levels of outbreaks or resurgences in outbreaks, and corresponding differences in government responses, which may make it difficult for us to plan or forecast an appropriate response.
The COVID-19 pandemic and mitigation measures have also had an adverse impact on global economic conditions, which have had an adverse effect on our business and financial condition. Our revenue and operating results may be affected by uncertain or changing economic and market conditions arising in connection with and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including prolonged periods of high unemployment, inflation, prolonged weak consumer demand, decreased consumer discretionary spending, political instability or other unforeseen changes. The significance of the operational and financial impact to us will depend on the duration and severity of disruptions caused by COVID-19, and the success of corresponding responses to contain the virus and treat those affected by it.
To the extent the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affects our business and financial results, it may also have the effect of heightening many of the other risk factors described in this “Risk Factors” section, such as those relating to our level of indebtedness, results of operations and cash flows.
We have not yet completed development and opening of our Puttery venues. There can be no assurance that the Puttery venues will operate as expected, or at all.
We plan to debut several Puttery venues in 2021. This plan depends on the completion of construction at the first two locations in Dallas, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina and other key development projects, including with respect to our venue design and technology and identifying locations and executing the leases for the remaining five Puttery venues, all of which remain in various stages of planning or process and may not occur on the timelines that we expect. Following the execution of any leases, we have in the past terminated, and may in the future terminate, such leases for various reasons prior to the construction or opening of the venue, which could delay our plans. In addition, we have in the past replaced or repaired and may in the future replace or repair the technology at our various venues which could further delay our plans. For example in 2019, we closed our Orlando location for approximately one month in order to install our TrackMan™ radar-based system, replacing our older technology. In the past, the construction time of our existing Drive Shack locations has exceeded our expected build timelines. For instance, our Orlando location opened approximately one month later than we had projected. If we are unable to develop and open the Puttery venues as expected, or, when and if opened, they do not accomplish the goals described herein, or if we experience delays or cost overruns in development, our business, operating results, cash flows and liquidity could be materially and adversely affected.
We may experience time delays, unforeseen expenses and other complications while developing the Puttery venues. These complications can delay the commencement of revenue-generating activities, reduce the amount of revenue we earn and increase our costs. Delays in the development beyond our estimated timelines, or amendments or change orders to development contracts we have entered into and will enter into in the future, could increase the cost of completion beyond the amounts that we estimate. Increased costs could require us to obtain additional sources of financing to continue development on our estimated development timeline or to fund our operations during such development. Any delay in completion of a Puttery venue could cause a delay in the receipt of revenues estimated therefrom. As a result of any one of these factors, any significant development delay, whatever the cause, could have a material adverse effect on our business, operating results, cash flows and liquidity.
The amount of revenue we generate at our venues may decrease in connection with changes in consumer spending patterns, particularly discretionary expenditures for leisure and recreation.
Consumer spending patterns, particularly discretionary expenditures for leisure and recreation, are subject to factors beyond our control. Should consumers decrease their discretionary spending in general, and in particular on leisure and entertainment, our revenues could decline and our operating margins could decrease, either of which would adversely affect our business. In general, economic recessions or downturns, increased unemployment, low consumer confidence and outlook, and depressed housing markets could cause a decrease in discretionary spending among our customers and potential customers. In addition, because we generate revenues at physical locations that require our customers to travel, consumer spending could also be impacted in a way that is material for our business as a result of war, terrorist activities or threats and heightened travel security measures instituted in response to these events and the financial condition of the airline, automotive and other transportation-related industries and its impact on travel, gasoline prices and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, blizzards, droughts and floods and outbreaks of epidemic, pandemic or influenza, coronavirus and other contagious diseases afflicting the geographic regions in which we operate. These factors and other global, national and regional conditions can adversely affect, and from time to time have adversely affected, individual properties, particular regions or our business as a whole. Any one or more of these factors could negatively affect the sales volume and profitability of our services, food and beverages at our Entertainment Golf venues and Traditional Golf properties, and rounds played at our Traditional Golf properties. In addition, in the case of our traditional golf venues, during such periods of adverse economic conditions, we may experience increased rates of resignations of existing members, a decrease in the rate of new member enrollment, a decrease in golf rounds played or reduced spending, any of which may result in, among other things, financial losses and decreased revenues.
Our growth strategy may be materially and adversely affected by our inability to fund, develop and open new entertainment venues and operate them profitably.
Our business strategy relies on our ability to develop, open and operate golf entertainment venues, including Drive Shack venues and Puttery venues. As of the date of this Annual Report on Form 10-K, we have four open and operating Drive Shack
venues. Our strategy includes the continued expansion of our geographic footprint by opening Drive Shack New Orleans, Drive Shack Randall’s Island and launching Puttery venues. Opening new venues requires us to identify locations with a favorable consumer market, enter into contracts to lease and/or purchase land, construct our venues in compliance with applicable zoning, licensing, land use and environmental regulations and finance our development, construction and opening costs. Thus, there can be no assurance that we will successfully open new Drive Shack or Puttery venues in accordance with the timing and cost assumptions inherent in our strategic plan. In addition, if the construction and compliance costs of any venue exceeds our budgeted estimates, our expected return on investment would be diminished, which could increase our cost of capital relative to returns and slow our growth strategy or ability to fund it.
In order to operate venues profitably, we must maintain efficient levels of costs, including hiring, training and retaining skilled management and other employees necessary to meet staffing needs and in procuring and pricing our products, including bay-play and food and beverages. Our failure to staff our venues on a cost-effective basis or set appropriate pricing levels creates the risk of diminished operating margins at the venue level. In addition, if we do not successfully attract consumers to our venue, or if they suffer a negative customer experience, we are at risk of not generating adequate revenues to create a favorable margin over our operating costs. Factors that could inhibit our ability to attract consumers to our venues include competition from other food and leisure venues, poor customer service at our venues and technological failures in our consumer-facing technology. Thus, there can be no assurance that we will achieve profitability at any individual venue, which could have a significant adverse effect on our overall operating results.
We have a limited operating history, which may not be sufficient to evaluate our business and prospects.
We have a limited operating history and track record at Drive Shack venues and no operating history for our Puttery venues. A number of our Entertainment Golf venues are, and in the future others will be, located in areas where we have little or no meaningful operating experience. Those markets may have different competitive conditions, local regulatory requirements, consumer tastes and discretionary spending patterns than our existing markets, which may cause our new venues to be less successful than we expect. As a result, our prior operating history and historical financial statements may not be a reliable basis for evaluating our business prospects or the future value of our shares. We commenced operations in Entertainment Golf in 2018, and we had net losses in that segment of approximately $14.3 million in 2018, $42.4 million in 2019 and $20.6 million in 2020. Our strategy may not be successful, and if unsuccessful, we may be unable to modify it in a timely and successful manner. We cannot give you any assurance that we will be able to implement our strategy on a timely basis, if at all, or achieve our internal model or that our assumptions will be accurate. Our limited operating history also means that we continue to develop and implement various policies and procedures including those related to data privacy and other matters. We will need to continue to build our team to implement our strategies.
We will continue to incur significant capital and operating expenditures while we expand the geographic footprint of our Drive Shack venues and launch new Puttery venues, which are currently under construction, as well as other future projects. We will need to invest significant amounts of additional capital to implement our strategy. We have not yet completed construction of our Drive Shack venue in New Orleans and have suspended construction on that venue with no formal restart date, and we have not yet commenced construction of Drive Shack Randall’s Island. Any delays beyond the expected development period for these assets would prolong, and could increase the level of, operating losses and negative operating cash flows. Our future liquidity may also be affected by the timing of financing availability in relation to the incurrence of construction costs and other outflows and by the timing of receipt of cash flows in relation to the incurrence of project and operating expenses. Our ability to generate any positive operating cash flow and achieve profitability in the future is dependent on, among other things, the successful expansion Drive Shack and new Puttery venues.
Our business is dependent upon obtaining substantial additional funding from various sources, which may not be available or may only be available on unfavorable terms.
We believe we will have sufficient liquidity, cash flow from operations and access to additional capital sources to fund our capital expenditures and working capital needs for the next 12 months, which are further described in “Items 1. and 2. Business and Properties.” In the future, we expect to incur additional indebtedness to continue to develop our operations, and we are considering alternative financing options, including the opportunistic sale of one or more of our non-core assets. If we are unable to secure additional funding, or amendments to existing financing, or if additional funding is only available on terms that we determine are not acceptable to us, we may be unable to fully execute our business plan and our business, financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected. Additionally, we may need to adjust the timing of our planned capital expenditures and venue development depending on the availability of such additional funding. Our ability to raise
additional capital will depend on financial, economic and market conditions, our progress in executing our business strategy and other factors, many of which are beyond our control. We cannot assure you that such additional funding will be available on acceptable terms, or at all. To the extent that we raise additional equity capital by issuing additional securities at any point in the future, our then-existing shareholders may experience dilution. Debt financing, if available, may subject us to restrictive covenants that could limit our flexibility in conducting future business activities and could result in us expending significant resources to service our obligations. If we are unable to comply with these covenants and service our debt, we may lose control of our business and be forced to reduce or delay planned investments or capital expenditures, sell assets, restructure our operations or submit to foreclosure proceedings, all of which could result in a material adverse effect upon our business. A variety of factors beyond our control could impact the availability or cost of capital, including domestic or international economic conditions, increases in key benchmark interest rates and/or credit spreads, the adoption of new or amended banking or capital market laws or regulations, the re-pricing of market risks and volatility in capital and financial markets, risks relating to the credit risk of our customers and the jurisdictions in which we operate, as well as general risks applicable to the consumer discretionary spending sector.
The success of our growth and operational strategy depends in part on our ability to procure or develop and protect our intellectual property rights and technology.
Our growth strategy depends on our ability to procure or develop and protect technologies to be used at our Drive Shack venues and our Puttery venues, and we may not be able to adequately procure or develop these technologies or protect the intellectual property rights in these technologies. Further, our competitors may adapt technologies or business models more quickly or effectively than we do, creating products that are technologically superior to ours or more appealing to consumers. As a result, we may lose an important advantage in the markets in which we open our Entertainment Golf venues. In addition, if third parties misappropriate or infringe, or otherwise inhibit access to, our intellectual property, our brand may fail to achieve and maintain market recognition and our growth strategy may be harmed. To protect the right to use our technologies and intellectual property, we may become involved in litigation, which could result in substantial expenses, divert the attention of management and adversely affect our revenue, financial condition and results of operations. In addition, our ball-tracking technology in our Entertainment Golf venues is provided by a single vendor, TrackMan™. If that vendor were to cease operations or default on its obligations to provide technology, we could suffer a material adverse effect on our business or operations. In addition, this vendor may provide services to other competitors, as we do not maintain exclusive rights to the technology. In addition, this vendor could choose not to implement its technology at new venues.
Competition in the industry in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on our business and results of operations.
We operate in a highly competitive industry and compete primarily on the basis of reputation, featured facilities, location, quality and breadth of product offerings and price. As a result, competition for market share in the industry in which we compete is significant.
Each market in which we operate is highly competitive and includes competition on a local and regional level with restaurants, dining and social clubs and other entertainment attractions including movie theaters, sporting events, bowling alleys, sports activity centers, arcades and entertainment centers, nightclubs and theme parks. Many of the entities operating these businesses are larger and better capitalized, have a greater number of stores, have been in business longer and are better established with stronger name recognition in the markets where our Entertainment Golf venues are located or are planned to be located. As a result, they may be able to invest greater resources than we can in attracting customers and succeed in attracting customers who would otherwise come to our venues. The legalization of casino and sports gambling in geographic areas near any current or future venues would create the possibility for entertainment alternatives, which could have a material adverse effect on our business and financial condition. We also face competition from increasingly sophisticated home-based forms of entertainment, such as internet and video gaming and home movie streaming and delivery.
The number and variety of competitors in our business vary based on the location and setting of each facility, with some situated in intensely competitive upscale urban areas characterized by frequent innovations in the products and services offered by competing restaurants, dining and social clubs and other entertainment attractions. In addition, new restaurants and other social and meeting venues may open or expand their amenities. As a result, the supply in a given region may exceed the demand for such facilities, and any increase in the number or quality of restaurants and other social and meeting venues, or the products and services they provide, in such region could significantly impact the ability of our properties to attract and retain members, which could harm our business and results of operations.
Our Traditional Golf properties compete on a local and regional level with other country clubs and golf properties. The level of competition in the Traditional Golf business varies from region to region and is subject to change as existing facilities are renovated or new facilities are developed. An increase in the number or quality of similar clubs and other facilities in a particular region could significantly increase competition, which could have a negative impact on our business and results of operations. In addition, member-owned and individual privately-owned clubs may be able to create a perception of exclusivity that we have difficulty replicating given the diversity of our portfolio and the scope of our holdings.
Unusual weather patterns and extreme weather events, as well as forecasts of bad or mixed weather conditions or periodic and quasi-periodic weather patterns, could adversely affect the value of our golf courses or negatively impact our business and results of operations.
Our businesses are subject to unusual weather patterns and extreme weather events, such as heavy rains, prolonged snow accumulations, high winds, extended heat waves and drought, which could negatively affect the income generated by our properties. Because our Entertainment and Traditional Golf businesses are primarily or partially outdoors, attendance at our facilities could be adversely affected by forecasts of bad weather conditions since individuals may instead choose to participate in indoor activities.
The maintenance of satisfactory turf grass conditions on our Traditional Golf properties requires significant amounts of water. Our ability to irrigate a golf course could be adversely affected by a drought or other cause of water shortage, such as government imposed restrictions on water usage. Additionally, we may be subject to significant increases in the cost of water. We have a concentration of Traditional Golf properties in states such as California, New York and Texas that experience periods of unusually hot, cold, dry or rainy weather. Unfavorable weather patterns in such states, or any other circumstance or event that causes a prolonged disruption in the operations of our properties in such states (including, without limitation, economic and demographic changes in these areas), could have an adverse impact on our Traditional Golf segment which is vulnerable to all these factors.
Food safety incidents at our properties or in our industry or supply chain may adversely affect customer perception of our brands or industry and result in declines in sales and profits.
We cannot guarantee that our supply chain and food safety controls and training will be fully effective in preventing all food safety issues at our properties and venues, including any occurrences of foodborne illnesses such as salmonella, E. coli, Norovirus, or hepatitis A. Some foodborne illness incidents could be caused by third-party vendors and distributors outside of our control. New illnesses may develop resistance to our current precautions in the future, or diseases with long incubation periods could arise, that could give rise to claims or allegations on a retroactive basis. One or more instances of foodborne illness in any of our properties or related to food products we sell could negatively affect our sales nationwide if highly publicized on national media outlets or through social media. This risk exists even if it were later determined that the illness was wrongly attributed to us or one of our properties. Further, any instances of food contamination, whether or not at our facilities, could subject us or our suppliers to a food recall, including pursuant to regulations of the Food and Drug Administration under the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Our large workforce subjects us to risks associated with increases in the cost of labor as a result of increased competition for employees, higher employee turnover rates and required wage increases and health benefit coverage, lawsuits or labor union activity.
Labor is one of our primary property-level operating expenses. We face the risks of labor shortages or increased labor costs because of increased competition for employees, higher employee turnover rates, or increases in the federal or state minimum wage or other employee benefit costs. For example, if the federal minimum wage were increased significantly, we would have to assess the financial impact on our operations as we have a large population of hourly employees. If labor-related expenses increase, our operating expense could increase in a manner that materially and adversely affects our operating margins and profitability.
We are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act and various federal and state laws governing such matters as minimum wage requirements, gratuity policies, overtime compensation and other working conditions, citizenship requirements, discrimination and family and medical leave. In recent years, a number of companies have been subject to lawsuits, including class action lawsuits, alleging violations of federal and state law regarding workplace and employment matters, overtime wage policies,
discrimination and similar matters. A number of these lawsuits have resulted in the payment of substantial damages by the defendants. Similar lawsuits have been threatened or instituted against us from time to time, and we may incur substantial damages and expenses resulting from lawsuits of this type, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Our success depends on key members of our management, the loss of any of whom could disrupt our business operations.
We depend to a large extent on the services of our executive officers. Our then-current chief executive officer each departed in 2018 and in 2019. The loss of the services any key executives could disrupt our operations and increase our exposure to the other risks described in this “Item 1A. Risk Factors.” We do not maintain key man insurance on any of our employees. As a result, we are not insured against any losses resulting from the death of our key employees.
Our operations are susceptible to changes in the availability and the cost of food, goods, rent, water, utilities, repairs, maintenance and taxes, which could reduce our operating margins and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our most significant operating costs, other than labor, are our cost of goods, water, utilities, rent and property taxes. Many, and in some cases all, of the factors affecting these costs are beyond our control. Increases in operating costs due to inflation, commodity prices and other factors may not be directly offset by increased revenue. Our cost of goods such as food and beverage costs account for a significant portion of our total property-level operating expense in our Entertainment and Traditional Golf segments. If our cost of goods increased significantly and we are not able to pass along those increased costs to our customers or members in the form of higher prices or otherwise, our operating margins would decrease, which would have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, rent accounts for a significant portion of our property-level operating expense. Significant increases in our rent costs would increase our operating expense and our business, financial condition and results of operations may be adversely impacted. The prices of utilities are volatile, and shortages sometimes occur. In particular, in the case of our Traditional Golf business, municipalities are increasingly placing restrictions on the use of water for golf course irrigation and increasing the cost of water. Significant increases in the cost of our utilities, or any shortages, could interrupt or curtail our operations and lower our operating margins, which could have a negative impact on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Each of our properties is subject to real and personal property taxes. The real and personal property taxes on our properties may increase or decrease as tax rates change and as our properties are assessed or reassessed by taxing authorities. If real and personal property taxes increase, our financial condition and results of operations may be adversely impacted.
We could be required to make material cash outlays in future periods if the number of initiation deposit refund requests we receive materially increases or if we are required to surrender unclaimed initiation deposits to state authorities under applicable escheatment laws.
We may be required to make significant cash outlays in connection with initiation fee deposits at our Traditional Golf properties. Members of our private properties are generally required to pay an initiation fee deposit upon their acceptance as a member and, in most cases, such deposits are fully refundable after a fixed number of years (typically 30 years) and upon the occurrence of other contract-specific conditions, whether or not the applicable golf property has undergone a transfer of ownership since the time of the deposit. While we will make a refund to any member whose initiation fee deposit is eligible to be refunded, we may be subject to various states’ escheatment laws with respect to initiation fee deposits that have not been refunded to members. All states have escheatment laws and generally require companies to remit to the state cash in an amount equal to unclaimed and abandoned property after a specified period of dormancy, which is typically 3 to 5 years. Moreover, most of the states in which we conduct business hire independent agents to conduct unclaimed and abandoned property audits. We currently do not remit to states any amounts relating to initiation fee deposits that are eligible to be refunded to members based upon our interpretation of the applicability of such laws to initiation fee deposits. The analysis of the potential application of escheatment laws to our initiation fee deposits is complex, involving an analysis of constitutional and statutory provisions and contractual and factual issues. While we do not believe that initiation fee deposits must be escheated, we may be forced to remit such amounts if we are challenged and fail to prevail in our position.
Our investments in real estate and facilities are subject to numerous risks, including the risk that the values of our investments may decline if there is a prolonged downturn in real estate values.
Our operations encompass a large amount of real estate holdings, primarily in the form of leasehold interests. Accordingly, we are subject to the risks associated with holding real estate investments. Our real estate holdings (including our long-term leaseholds) are subject to risks typically associated with investments in real estate. The investment returns available from equity investments in real estate depend in large part on the amount of income earned, expenses incurred and capital appreciation generated by the related properties. In addition, a variety of other factors affect income from properties and real estate values, including governmental regulations, real estate, insurance, zoning, tax and eminent domain laws, interest rate levels and the availability of financing. For example, new or existing real estate zoning or tax laws can make it more expensive and time-consuming to expand, modify or renovate older properties. Under eminent domain laws, governments can take real property. Sometimes this taking is for less compensation than the owner believes the property is worth. Any of these factors could have an adverse impact on our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We may not be able to retain members at our public and private Traditional Golf properties, and attract golf rounds played, which could have an adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Our success depends on our ability to attract and retain members and other customers at our public and private Traditional Golf properties, attract golf rounds played and maintain or increase revenues generated from our Traditional Golf properties. Changes in consumer financial condition, leisure tastes and preferences, particularly those affecting the popularity of golf, and other social and demographic trends could adversely affect our business. Significant periods where attrition rates exceed enrollment rates or where facilities usage is below historical levels at our Traditional Golf properties would have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. A portion of our member base may not regularly use our facilities and may be more likely to cancel their membership. Factors that could lead to a decrease in membership include a decline in our ability to deliver quality service at our current membership prices, a decrease in public interest in the sport of golf, and direct and indirect competition in our industry. If we cannot attract new members and other customers, retain our existing members and other customers, or maintain golf rounds played at our Traditional Golf properties, our financial condition and results of operations could be harmed.
We have significant operations concentrated in certain geographic areas, and any disruption in the operations of our properties in any of these areas could harm our results of operations.
As of December 31, 2020, we operated multiple Traditional Golf properties in several metropolitan areas, including 32 in the greater Los Angeles, California region. As a result, any prolonged disruption in the operations of our properties in any of these markets, whether due to technical difficulties, power failures or destruction or damage to the properties as a result of a natural disaster, such as hurricanes or earthquakes, fire or any other reason, could harm our results of operations or may result in property closures. In addition, some of the metropolitan areas where we operate properties could be disproportionately affected by regional economic conditions, such as declining home prices and rising unemployment. Concentration in these markets increases our exposure to adverse developments related to competition, as well as economic and demographic changes in these areas.
Seasonality may adversely affect our business and results of operations.
Seasonality can affect our results of operations. Usage of Traditional Golf properties tends to decline significantly during the first and fourth quarters, when colder temperatures and shorter days reduce the demand for outdoor activities. As a result, we expect the Traditional Golf business to generate a disproportionate share of its annual revenue in the second and third quarters of each year. Accordingly, our Traditional Golf business is especially vulnerable to events that may negatively impact its operations during the second and third quarters, when guest and member usage is highest. In addition, operations in the Entertainment Golf business could be significantly impacted on a season-to-season basis; including based on corporate events volume during holiday seasons and school vacation schedules. For this reason, a quarter-to-quarter comparison may not be a good indicator of our current and/or future performance.
If the owner for any of our managed Traditional Golf properties defaults on its obligation to pay us our management fee under the management contract, we may not obtain the full amount, or any, of the revenue associated with that contract.
Our 25 managed Traditional Golf properties are properties that American Golf manages pursuant to a management agreement with the owner of each property. If any property owner defaults on its obligation to pay us the management fee that we are entitled to receive under the management for the property, we are at risk of losing some or all of the revenue associated with
that management agreement. In addition, we may decide to enforce our right to damages for breach of contract and related claims, which may cause us to incur significant legal fees and expenses. Any damages we ultimately collect may be less than the projected future value of the fees and other amounts we would have otherwise collected under the management agreement, which may result in, among other things, financial losses and decreased revenues.
Our insurance policies may not provide adequate levels of coverage against all claims and we may incur losses that are not covered by our insurance.
There are certain types of losses, generally of a catastrophic nature, such as pandemics, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, terrorism or acts of war, that may be uninsurable or not economically insurable. Inflation, changes in building codes and ordinances, environmental considerations, and other factors, including terrorism or acts of war, also might make the insurance proceeds insufficient to repair or replace a property, if it is damaged or destroyed. Under such circumstances, the insurance proceeds received might not be adequate to restore our economic position with respect to the affected real property. For example, we may suffer losses from acts of terrorism that are not covered by insurance.
Accidents or injuries at our properties or in connection with our operations may subject us to liability, and accidents or injuries could negatively impact our reputation and attendance, which would harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
There are inherent risks of accidents or injuries at our properties or in connection with our operations, including injuries from premises liabilities such as slips, trips and falls. If accidents or injuries occur at any of our properties, we may be held liable for costs related to such incidents. We maintain insurance of the type and in the amounts that we believe are commercially reasonable and that are available to businesses in our industry, but there can be no assurance that our liability insurance will be adequate or available at all times and in all circumstances. There can also be no assurance that the liability insurance we have carried in the past was adequate or available to cover any liability related to previous incidents. The expansion of social media over recent years to report such incidents could increase the impact of the resulting negative publicity on our business. Our business, financial condition and results of operations could be harmed to the extent claims and associated expenses resulting from accidents or injuries exceed our insurance recoveries.
The failure to comply with regulations applicable to our properties or the failure to retain licenses or permits relating to our properties may harm our business and results of operations.
Our business is subject to extensive federal, state and local government regulation in the various jurisdictions in which our properties are located, including regulations relating to alcoholic beverage control, public health and safety, environmental hazards and food safety. Alcoholic beverage control regulations require each of our properties to obtain licenses and permits to sell alcoholic beverages on the premises. Typically, licenses must be renewed annually and may be revoked or suspended for cause at any time. In some states, the loss of a license for cause with respect to one location may lead to the loss of licenses at all locations in that state and could make it more difficult to obtain additional licenses in that state. Alcoholic beverage control regulations relate to numerous aspects of the daily operations of each venue, including minimum age of patrons and employees, hours of operation, advertising, wholesale purchasing, inventory control and handling and storage and dispensing of alcoholic beverages.
The failure of a property to obtain or retain its licenses and permits would adversely affect that property’s operations and profitability, as well as our ability to obtain such a license or permit in other locations. We may also be subject to dram shop statutes in certain states, which generally provide a person injured by an intoxicated person the right to recover damages from an establishment that wrongfully served alcoholic beverages to the intoxicated person. Even though we are covered by general liability insurance, a settlement or judgment against us under a dram shop lawsuit in excess of liability coverage could have a material adverse effect on our operations. In addition, any of our locations located near airports must comply with land-use zoning ordinances related to the height of objects around airports, which are promulgated at the federal level based on advice and guidance published by the Federal Aviation Administration.
We are also subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (the “ADA”) which, among other things, may require certain renovations to our facilities to comply with access and use requirements. A determination that we are not in compliance with the ADA or any other similar law or regulation could result in the imposition of fines or an award of damages to private litigants. While we believe we are operating in substantial compliance, and will continue to remove architectural barriers in our facilities when readily achievable, in accordance with current applicable laws and regulations, there can be no assurance that
our expenses for compliance with these laws and regulations will not increase significantly and harm our business, financial condition and results of operations.
We are also subject to numerous other federal, state and local governmental regulations related to building and zoning requirements and the use and operation of clubs, including changes to building codes and fire and life safety codes, which can affect our ability to obtain and maintain licenses relating to our business and properties. If we were required to make substantial modifications at our properties to comply with these regulations or if we fail to comply with these regulations, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be negatively impacted.
Environmental compliance costs and liabilities related to real estate that we own, or in which we have interests, may adversely affect our results of operations.
Our operating costs may be affected by the cost of complying with existing or future environmental laws, ordinances and regulations with respect to the properties (or loans secured by such properties) or by environmental problems that materially impair the value of such properties. Under various federal, state and local environmental laws, ordinances and regulations, a current or previous owner or operator of real property may be liable for the costs of removal or remediation of hazardous or toxic substances on, under, or in such property. Such laws often impose liability whether or not the owner or operator knew of, or was responsible for, the presence of such hazardous or toxic substances. In addition, the presence of hazardous or toxic substances, or the failure to remediate properly, may adversely affect the owner’s ability to borrow using such real property as collateral. Certain environmental laws and common law principles could be used to impose liability for releases of hazardous materials, including asbestos-containing materials, into the environment, and third parties may seek recovery from owners or operators of real properties for personal injury associated with exposure to released asbestos-containing materials or other hazardous materials. Environmental laws may also impose restrictions on the manner in which a property may be used or transferred or in which businesses it may be operated, and these restrictions may require expenditures. In connection with the direct or indirect ownership and operation of properties, we may be potentially liable for any such costs. The cost of defending against claims of liability or remediating contaminated property and the cost of complying with environmental laws could adversely affect our results of operations and financial condition.
Our procurement of certain materials for developing, redeveloping or renovating our venues is dependent upon a few suppliers.
Our ability to continue to procure certain materials is important to our business strategy for developing, redeveloping or renovating our venues. The number of suppliers from which we can purchase our materials is limited. In addition, the materials necessary to construct Entertainment Golf venues are subject to price fluctuation. To the extent that the number of suppliers declines, or the price of materials necessary to construct our Entertainment Golf venues increases, we could be subject to the risk increased capital expenditure costs, of distribution delays, pricing pressure, lack of innovation and other associated risks which could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
Changes in laws, regulations and other requirements could adversely affect our business, results of operations or financial condition.
We are also subject to federal, state and local environmental laws, regulations and other requirements. More stringent and varied requirements of local and state governmental bodies with respect to zoning, land use and environmental factors could delay or prevent development of new venues in particular locations. Environmental laws and regulations also govern, among other things, discharges of pollutants into the air and water as well as the presence, handling, release and disposal of and exposure to hazardous substances. These laws provide for significant fines and penalties for noncompliance. Third parties may also make personal injury, property damage or other claims against us associated with actual or alleged release of, or exposure to, hazardous substances at our properties. We could also be strictly liable, without regard to fault, for certain environmental conditions at properties we formerly owned or operated as well as our current properties. The failure to receive or retain a liquor license, or any other required permit or license, in a particular location, or to continue to qualify for, or renew licenses, could have a material adverse effect on operations and our ability to obtain such a license or permit in other locations. In addition, changes in federal law relating to the height of objects around airports may interfere with the planned design, construction and operation of any of our Entertainment Golf venues located near airports.
Lawsuits, investigations and indemnification claims could result in significant liabilities and reputational harm, which could materially adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.
From time to time, we are and may become involved in lawsuits, inquiries or investigations or receive claims for indemnification. Our efforts to resolve any such lawsuits, inquiries, investigations or claims could be very expensive and highly damaging to our reputation, even if the underlying claims are without merit. We could potentially be found liable for significant damages or indemnification obligations. Such developments could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.
Our risk of litigation includes, but is not limited to, lawsuits that could be brought by users of our properties and property-level employees. For instance, we are subject to federal and state laws governing minimum wage requirements, overtime compensation, discrimination and family and medical leave. Any lawsuit alleging a violation of any such laws could result in a settlement or other resolution that requires us to make a substantial payment, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations. In addition, accidents or injuries in connection with our properties could subject us to liability and reputational harm.
A failure in our systems or infrastructure which maintain our internal and customer data, or those of our third-party service providers, including as a result of cyber-attacks, could result in faulty business decisions or harm to our reputation or subject us to costs, fines or lawsuits.
Certain information relating to our members and guests, including personally identifiable information and credit card numbers, is collected and maintained by us, or by third-parties that do business with us or facilitate our business activities. This information is maintained for a period of time for various business purposes, including maintaining records of member and guest preferences to enhance our customer service and for billing, marketing and promotional purposes. We also maintain personally identifiable information about our employees. The integrity and protection of our customer, employee and company data is critical to our business. Our members and guests and our employees expect that we will adequately protect their personal information, and the regulations applicable to security and privacy are increasingly demanding. Privacy regulation is an evolving area and compliance with applicable privacy regulations may increase our operating costs or adversely impact our ability to service our members and guests and market our properties and services.
To date we have not experienced any material losses relating to cyber-attacks, computer viruses or other systems or infrastructure failures. While we have cyber security procedures in place, given the evolving nature of these threats, there can be no assurance that we will not suffer material losses in the future due to cyber-attacks or other systems or infrastructure failures. The theft, loss, misappropriation, fraudulent or unlawful use of customer, employee or company data, including in connection with one or more cyber-attacks on us or one of our third-party providers, could harm our reputation, result in loss of members or business disruption or result in remedial and other costs, fines or lawsuits. In addition, non-compliance with applicable privacy regulations by us (or in some circumstances non-compliance by third-parties engaged by us) could result in fines or restrictions on our use or transfer of data. Any of these matters could adversely affect our business, financial condition or results of operations.
We rely on information technology in our operations, and any material failure, inadequacy, interruption or security failure of that technology could harm our business.
We rely on information technology networks and systems, including the Internet, to process, transmit and store electronic information and to manage or support a variety of our business processes, including financial transactions and maintenance of records, which in the case of our business, may include personal identifying information. We rely on commercially available systems, software, tools and monitoring to provide security for processing, transmitting and storing this confidential information, such as individually identifiable information relating to financial accounts. Although we have taken steps to protect the security of the data maintained in our information systems, it is possible that our security measures will not be able to prevent the systems’ improper functioning, or the improper disclosure of personally identifiable information such as in the event of cyber attacks. Security breaches, including physical or electronic break-ins, computer viruses, attacks by hackers and similar breaches, can create system disruptions, shutdowns or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information. Any failure to maintain proper function, security and availability of our information systems could interrupt our operations, damage our reputation, subject us to liability claims or regulatory penalties and could materially and adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. If our incident response and disaster recovery plans do not resolve these issues in an efficient manner, remediation of these problems could result in significant, unexpected capital expenditures.
Our investments may be subject to significant impairment charges, which would adversely affect our results of operations.
We are required to periodically evaluate our investments for impairment indicators. The value of an investment is impaired when our analysis indicates that, with respect to a loan, it is probable that we will not be able to collect the full amount we intended to collect from the loan or, with respect to a security or property, it is probable that the value of the security or property is other than temporarily impaired. The judgment regarding the existence of impairment indicators is based on a variety of factors depending upon the nature of the investment and the manner in which the income related to such investment was calculated for purposes of our financial statements. If we determine that an impairment has occurred, we are required to make an adjustment to the net carrying value of the investment and the amount of accrued interest recognized as income from such investment, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
Our investments in real estate related preferred equity and other direct and indirect interests in pools of real estate properties may be subject to additional risks relating to the structure and terms of these transactions, which may result in losses to us.
We have investments in direct and indirect interests in pools of real estate properties, including an approximately 22% economic interest in a limited liability company which owns preferred equity secured by a commercial real estate project. These types of investments involve a higher degree of risk than long-term senior lending secured by business assets or income producing real property because the investment may become unsecured as a result of foreclosure by a senior lender. As a result, we may not recover some or all of our investment.
Many of our investments are illiquid, and this lack of liquidity could significantly impede our ability to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions, these illiquid investments may be difficult to sell to generate cash to meet our needs and we may not realize the value at which such investments are carried if we are required to dispose of them.
The real estate properties that we own and operate and our other direct and indirect investments in real estate and securities are generally illiquid. In addition, the real estate securities that we purchase in connection with privately negotiated transactions are not registered under the relevant securities laws, resulting in a prohibition against their transfer, sale, pledge or other disposition except in a transaction that is exempt from the registration requirements of, or is otherwise in accordance with, those laws. In addition, there are no established trading markets for a majority of our investments. As a result, our ability to vary our portfolio in response to changes in economic and other conditions may be limited.
Our real estate securities are valued using internal models that use significant estimates. Although we seek to adjust our cash and short-term investment positions to minimize the likelihood that we would need to sell illiquid investments, if we are required to liquidate all or a portion of our illiquid investments quickly, we may realize significantly less than the amount at which we have previously valued these investments.
Changes in accounting rules could occur at any time and could impact us in significantly negative ways that we are unable to predict or protect against.
As has been widely publicized, the SEC, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and other regulatory bodies that establish the accounting rules applicable to us have recently proposed or enacted a wide array of changes to accounting rules. Moreover, in the future these regulators may propose additional changes that we do not currently anticipate. Changes to accounting rules that apply to us could significantly impact our business or our reported financial performance in negative ways that we cannot predict or protect against. We cannot predict whether any changes to current accounting rules will occur or what impact any codified changes will have on our business, results of operations, liquidity or financial condition.
We have assumed the role of manager of CDOs previously managed by a third party. Each such engagement exposes us to a number of potential risks.
In February 2011, one of our subsidiaries became the collateral manager of certain collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs") previously managed by C-BASS Investment Management LLC (“C-BASS”).
Being engaged as the collateral manager of CDOs entails a number of risks that could harm our reputation, results of operations and financial condition. For example, we purchased the management rights with respect to the C-BASS CDOs pursuant to a bankruptcy proceeding. As a result, we were not able to conduct extensive due diligence on the CDO assets even though many classes of securities issued by the CDOs were rated as “distressed” by the rating agencies as of the most recent rating date prior to our becoming the collateral manager of the CDOs. We may willingly or unknowingly assume actual or contingent liabilities for significant expenses, we may become subject to new laws and regulations with which we are not familiar, and we may become subject to increased risk of litigation, regulatory investigation or negative publicity. For example, we determined that it
would be prudent to register the subsidiary that became the collateral manager of the C-BASS CDOs as a registered investment adviser, which has increased our regulatory compliance costs. In addition to defending against litigation and complying with regulatory requirements, being engaged as collateral manager may require us to invest other resources for various other reasons, which could detract from our ability to capitalize on future opportunities. Moreover, being engaged as collateral manager may require us to integrate complex technological, accounting and management systems, which may be difficult, expensive and time-consuming and which we may not be successful in integrating into our current systems. In addition to the risk that we face if we are successful in becoming the manager of additional CDOs, we may attempt but fail to become the collateral manager of CDOs in the future, which could harm our reputation and subject us to costly litigation. Finally, if we include the financial performance of the C-BASS CDOs or other CDOs for which we become the collateral manager in our public filings, we are subject to the risk that, particularly during the period immediately after we become the collateral manager, this information may prove to be inaccurate or incomplete. The occurrence of any of these negative integration events could negatively impact our reputation with both regulators and investors, which could, in turn, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and impair our relationships with the investment community. The occurrence of any of these problems could negatively affect our reputation, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Related to Our Stock
We may be unable—or elect not—to pay dividends on our common or preferred stock in the future, which would negatively impact our business in a number of ways and decrease the price of our common and preferred stock.
Our board of directors elected not to pay common stock dividends for 2017 through 2020 to retain capital for growth. All future dividend distributions will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon, among other things, our earnings, investment strategy, financial condition and liquidity, and such other factors as the board of directors deems relevant. No assurance can be given that we will pay any dividends on our common stock in the future.
We currently have unpaid accrued dividends on our preferred stock. So long as dividends remain accrued and not paid on our preferred stock, the terms of our preferred stock prohibit us from paying any dividends on our common stock, from repurchasing or otherwise acquiring shares of our common stock and from redeeming any shares of any series of our preferred stock without redeeming all of our outstanding preferred shares. If we do not pay dividends on any series of preferred stock for six or more periods, then holders of each affected series obtain the right to call a special meeting and elect two members to our board of directors. We cannot predict whether the holders of our preferred stock would take such action or, if taken, how long the process would take or what impact the two new directors on our board of directors would have on our company, including with respect to the management of our business.
Maryland takeover statutes may prevent a change of our control, which could depress our stock price.
Under Maryland law, “business combinations” between a Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder or an affiliate of an interested stockholder are prohibited for five years after the most recent date on which the interested stockholder becomes an interested stockholder. These business combinations include certain mergers, consolidations, share exchanges, or, in circumstances specified in the statute, an asset transfer or issuance or reclassification of equity securities or a liquidation or dissolution. An interested stockholder is defined as:
•any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of the corporation’s outstanding shares; or
•an affiliate or associate of a corporation who, at any time within the two-year period prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of the then outstanding stock of the corporation.
A person is not an interested stockholder under the statute if the board of directors approved in advance the transaction by which he or she otherwise would have become an interested stockholder.
After the five-year prohibition, any business combination between the Maryland corporation and an interested stockholder generally must be recommended by the board of directors of the corporation and approved by the affirmative vote of at least:
•80% of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of outstanding shares of voting stock of the corporation voting together as a single group; and
•two-thirds of the votes entitled to be cast by holders of voting stock of the corporation other than shares held by the interested stockholder with whom or with whose affiliate the business combination is to be effected or held by an affiliate or associate of the interested stockholder voting together as a single voting group.
The business combination statute may discourage others from trying to acquire control of us and increase the difficulty of consummating any offer, including potential acquisitions that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
Our staggered board and other provisions of our charter and bylaws may prevent a change in our control.
Our board of directors is divided into three classes of directors. Directors of each class are chosen for three-year terms upon the expiration of their current terms, and each year one class of directors is elected by the stockholders. The staggered terms of our directors may reduce the possibility of a tender offer or an attempt at a change in control, even though a tender offer or change in control might be in the best interest of our stockholders. In addition, our charter and bylaws also contain other provisions that may delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
Our charter authorizes us to issue additional authorized but unissued shares of our common stock or preferred stock. In addition, our board of directors may classify or reclassify any unissued shares of our common stock or preferred stock and may set the preferences, rights and other terms of the classified or reclassified shares. As a result, our board of directors may establish a series of preferred stock that could delay or prevent a transaction or a change in control that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interest of our stockholders.
Risks Related to Our Tax Status and the 1940 Act
In January 2013, we experienced an “ownership change” for purposes of Section 382 of the Code, which limits our ability to utilize our net operating loss and net capital loss carryforwards and certain built-in losses to reduce our future taxable income, potentially increases the net taxable income on which we must pay corporate-level taxes, and potentially adversely affects our liquidity, and we could experience another ownership change in the future or forgo otherwise attractive opportunities in order to avoid experiencing another ownership change.
As a result of our January 2013 “ownership change,” our future ability to utilize our net operating loss and net capital loss carryforwards to reduce our taxable income may be limited by certain provisions of the Code.
Specifically, the Code limits the ability of a company that undergoes an “ownership change” to utilize its net operating loss and net capital loss carryforwards and certain built-in losses to offset taxable income earned in years after the ownership change. An ownership change occurs if, during a three-year testing period, more than 50% of the stock of a company is acquired by one or more persons (or certain groups of persons) who own, directly or constructively, 5% or more of the stock of such company. An ownership change can occur as a result of a public offering of stock, as well as through secondary market purchases of our stock and certain types of reorganization transactions. Generally, when an ownership change occurs, the annual limitation on the use of net operating loss and net capital loss carryforwards and certain built-in losses is equal to the product of the applicable long-term tax exempt rate and the value of the company’s stock immediately before the ownership change. We have substantial net operating and net capital loss carry forwards which we have used, and will continue to use, to offset our taxable income. In January 2013, an “ownership change” for purposes of Section 382 of the Code occurred. Therefore, the provisions of Section 382 of the Code impose an annual limit on the amount of net operating loss and net capital loss carryforwards and built in losses that we can use to offset future taxable income.
The ownership change we experienced in January 2013 (and any subsequent ownership changes) could materially increase our income tax liability. As described above, the ownership change we experienced in January 2013 resulted in a limitation on our use of net operating losses and net capital loss carryforwards. These limitations could result in us incurring materially greater tax liability than if we had not undergone such an ownership change.
In addition, if we were to undergo an ownership change again in the future, our net operating losses and net capital loss carryforwards could become subject to additional limitations, which could result in us incurring materially greater tax liability than if we had not undergone such an ownership change. The determination of whether an ownership change has occurred or will occur is complicated and depends on changes in percentage stock ownership among stockholders. We adopted the Tax
Benefits Preservation Plan described below in order to discourage an ownership change. However, there can be no assurance that the Tax Benefits Preservation Plan will prevent an ownership change. In addition, to the extent not prohibited by our charter, we may decide in the future that it is necessary or in our interest to take certain actions that could result in an ownership change. Therefore, no assurance can be provided as to whether an ownership change has occurred or will occur in the future.
Moreover, the potential negative consequences of the limitations that would result from an ownership change may discourage us from, among other things, redeeming our stock or issuing additional common stock to raise capital or to acquire businesses or assets. Accordingly, our desire to preserve our net operating losses and net capital loss carryforwards may cause us to forgo otherwise attractive opportunities.
Our Tax Benefits Preservation Plan could inhibit a change in our control that may otherwise be favorable to our stockholders.
In March 2020, our board of directors adopted a Tax Benefits Preservation Plan in an effort to protect against a possible limitation on our ability to use our net operating losses and net capital loss carryforwards by discouraging investors from acquiring ownership of our common stock in a manner that could trigger an “ownership change” for purposes of Sections 382 and 383 of the Code. Under the terms of the Tax Benefits Preservation Plan, in general, if a person or group acquires beneficial ownership of 4.9% or more of the outstanding shares of our Common Stock without prior approval of our board of directors or without meeting certain exceptions (an “Acquiring Person”), the rights would become exercisable and our stockholders (other than the Acquiring Person) will have the right to purchase securities from us at a discount to such securities’ fair market value, thus causing substantial dilution to the Acquiring Person. As a result, the Tax Benefits Preservation Plan may have the effect of inhibiting or impeding a change in control not approved by our board of directors and, notwithstanding its purpose, could adversely affect our stockholders’ ability to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price for our common stock in connection with such a transaction. In addition, because our board of directors may consent to certain transactions, the Tax Benefits Preservation Plan gives our board of directors significant discretion over whether a potential acquirer’s efforts to acquire a large interest in us will be successful. There can be no assurance that the Tax Benefits Preservation Plan will prevent an “ownership change” within the meaning of Sections 382 and 383 of the Code, in which case we may lose all or most of the anticipated tax benefits associated with our prior losses.
We no longer qualify for taxation as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes effective as of January 1, 2017, and there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge our previous REIT status.
Although we elected for U.S. federal income tax purposes to be treated as a REIT for the 2016 taxable year and in prior taxable years, we revoked our REIT election for the tax year beginning January 1, 2017 and intend to be treated as a regular “C corporation” for that year and any year in the foreseeable future, and, as a result, we will be unable to claim the United States federal income tax benefits associated with REIT status. Moreover, there can be no assurance that the IRS will not challenge our qualification as a REIT for years in which we intended to qualify as a REIT. Although we believe we did qualify as a REIT in each such year, if the IRS were to successfully challenge our previous REIT status, we would suffer adverse tax consequences, such as those described below.
For the 2017 through 2020 taxable years and future years (and for any prior year if we were to fail to qualify as a REIT in such year), we are generally subject to federal income tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, and distributions to stockholders would not be deductible by us in computing our taxable income. Any such corporate tax liability could be substantial. Our decision to revoke our REIT election could also have other effects on any given stockholder, depending on its particular circumstances. For example, certain foreign investors that own large positions in our stock may be subject to less favorable rules under the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 following the revocation of our REIT election. Stockholders are urged consult their tax advisors regarding the effects to them of the revocation of our REIT elections in light of their particular circumstances.
Qualifying as a REIT involves highly technical and complex provisions of the Code, and our failure to qualify as a REIT for any taxable year through 2016 would result in higher taxes and reduced cash available for distribution to our stockholders.
As described above, we operated through December 31, 2016 in a manner intended to qualify us as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. Qualification as a REIT involves the application of highly technical and complex Code provisions for which only limited judicial and administrative authorities exist. Even a technical or inadvertent violation could jeopardize our REIT qualification for such taxable years. Our qualification as a REIT depended on our satisfaction of certain asset, income,
organizational, distribution, stockholder ownership and other requirements. Although we believe we satisfied those requirements, no assurance can be given in that regard.
Tax matters, including changes in tax rates, disagreements with taxing authorities and imposition of new taxes could impact our results of operations and financial condition.
Tax rates in the United States, state and local jurisdictions have been and may be subject to significant change. The future effective tax rate of the Company could be effected by changes in mix of earnings in different jurisdictions with differing statutory tax rates, changes in valuation of deferred tax asset and liabilities, or changes in tax laws or their interpretation, which includes recently enacted U.S. tax reform.
We are also subject to regular reviews, examinations and audits by the Internal Revenue Service and other taxing authorities. Although we believe the positions we have taken are reasonable, if a taxing authority disagrees with the positions we have taken, we could face additional tax liability, including interest and penalties. There can be no assurance that payment of such additional amounts upon final adjudication of any disputes will not have a material impact on our results of operations and financial position.
Rapid changes in the values of assets that we hold may make it more difficult for us to maintain our exclusion from the 1940 Act.
If the market value or income potential of qualifying assets for purposes of our exclusion from registration as an investment company under the 1940 Act declines as a result of increased interest rates, changes in prepayment rates or other factors, or the market value or income potential from non-qualifying assets increases, we may need to increase our investments in qualifying assets and/or liquidate our non-qualifying assets to maintain our exclusion from registration under the 1940 Act. If the change in market values or income occurs quickly, this may be especially difficult to accomplish. This difficulty may be exacerbated by the illiquid nature of any non-qualifying assets we may own. We may have to make investment decisions that we otherwise would not make absent the intent to maintain our exclusion from registration under the 1940 Act.
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
We have no unresolved staff comments received more than 180 days prior to December 31, 2020.
Item 2. Properties.
We lease our principal executive office in Dallas, TX. We also lease a corporate office in New York, NY to support our Entertainment Golf business and lease a corporate office in El Segundo, CA to support our Traditional Golf business.
Entertainment Golf Venues
As of December 31, 2020, we operate four Entertainment Golf venues as shown in the following table by location, category and number of bays.
|City||State||Category||# of Bays|
|West Palm Beach||FL||Leased||96 |
Traditional Golf Properties
As of December 31, 2020, we own, lease or manage 60 Traditional Golf properties located in 9 states, as shown in the following table by location, category and number of golf holes.
|Property Name||City||State||Category||Golf Holes|
|Property Name||City||State||Category||Golf Holes|
|Chester Washington||Los Angeles||CA||Public||18 |
|Clearview||Bayside Queens||NY||Public||18 |
|Coyote Hills||Fullerton||CA||Public||18 |
|Diamond Bar||Diamond Bar||CA||Public||18 |
|Dyker Beach||Brooklyn||NY||Public||18 |
|El Dorado||Long Beach||CA||Public||18 |
|Heartwell||Long Beach||CA||Public||18 |
|Knollwood||Granada Hills||CA||Public||18 |
|La Mirada||La Mirada||CA||Public||18 |
|La Tourette||Staten Island||NY||Public||18 |
|Lake Forest||Lake Forest||CA||Public||9 |
|Lake Tahoe||S. Lake Tahoe||CA||Public||18 |
|Los Coyotes||Buena Park||CA||Private||27 |
|Los Verdes||Rancho PV||CA||Public||18 |
|Mission Trails||San Diego||CA||Public||18 |
|Mountain Meadows||Pomona||CA||Public||18 |
|MountainGate||Los Angeles||CA||Private||27 |
|National City||National City||CA||Public||9 |
|Pelham Split Rock||Bronx||NY||Public||36 |
|Recreation Park 18||Long Beach||CA||Public||18 |
|Recreation Park 9||Long Beach||CA||Public||9 |
|San Dimas||San Dimas||CA||Public||18 |
|Scholl Canyon||Glendale||CA||Public||18 |
|Sea Cliff||Huntington Bch||CA||Private||18 |
|Skylinks||Long Beach||CA||Public||18 |
|South Shore||Staten Island||NY||Public||18 |
|Tecolote Canyon||San Diego||CA||Public||18 |
|Tilden Park||Berkeley||CA||Public||18 |
|Vineyard at Escondido||Escondido||CA||Public||18 |
|Whittier Narrows||Rosemead||CA||Public||27 |
|Property Name||City||State||Category||Golf Holes|
|Anaheim Hills||Anaheim||CA||Public||18 |
|Bear Creek||Woodinville||WA||Private||18 |
|Canyon Oaks||Chico||CA||Private||18 |
|Dad Miller||Anaheim||CA||Public||18 |
|El Camino||Oceanside||CA||Private||18 |
|John A White||Atlanta||GA||Public||9 |
|Lomas Santa Fe||Solana Beach||CA||Private||18 |
|Lomas Santa Fe (Executive)||Solana Beach||CA||Public||18 |
|Marbella||SJ Capistrano||CA||Private||18 |
|Monarch Bay||San Leandro||CA||Public||27 |
|Monterey||Palm Desert||CA||Private||27 |
|Oregon Golf Club||West Linn||OR||Private||18 |
|Oso Creek||Mission Viejo||CA||Public||18 |
|Palm Valley||Palm Desert||CA||Private||36 |
|Rancho San Joaquin||Irvine||CA||Public||18 |
|River Club||Boise||ID||Private||18 |
|River Ridge||Oxnard||CA||Public||36 |
|Sunset Hills||Thousand Oaks||CA||Private||18 |
|Tustin Ranch||Tustin||CA||Public||18 |
|Vista Valencia||Valencia||CA||Public||27 |
|Westchester||Los Angeles||CA||Public||18 |
|Wood Ranch||Simi Valley||CA||Private||18 |
|Yorba Linda||Yorba Linda||CA||Private||18 |
We maintain our properties in good condition and believe that our current facilities are adequate to meet the present needs of our business. We do not believe any individual property is material to our financial condition or results of operations.
Item 3. Legal Proceedings.
We are and may become involved in legal proceedings, including but not limited to regulatory investigations and inquiries, in the ordinary course of our business. Although we are unable to predict with certainty the eventual outcome of any litigation, regulatory investigation or inquiry, in the opinion of management, we do not expect our current or threatened legal proceedings to have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position or results of operations. Given the inherent unpredictability of these types of proceedings, however, it is possible that future adverse outcomes could have a material effect on our business, financial position or results of operations.
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Item 5. Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters, and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities.
The following graph compares the cumulative total return for the Company’s common stock (stock price change plus reinvested dividends) with the comparable return of three indices: S&P 500, S&P SmallCap 600 and Russell 2000. The graph assumes an investment of $100 in the Company’s common stock and in each of the indices on December 31, 2015, and that all dividends were reinvested. The past performance of the Company’s common stock is not an indication of future performance.
|Drive Shack Inc.||100.00||102.73||151.08||107.10||99.99||65.02|
|S&P 500 Index||100.00||111.96||136.40||130.42||171.49||203.04|
|S&P SmallCap 600 Index||100.00||126.56||143.30||131.15||161.03||179.20|
|Russell 2000 Index||100.00||121.31||139.08||123.76||155.35||186.36|
We have one class of common stock and our initial public offering was in October 2002. We are listed and traded on the NYSE under the symbol “DS”.
Our board of directors elected not to pay common stock dividends in 2019 or 2020 to retain capital for growth. All future dividend distributions will be made at the discretion of our board of directors and will depend upon, among other things, our earnings, investment strategy, financial condition and liquidity, and such other factors as the board of directors deems relevant. We may declare quarterly distributions on our preferred stock at the discretion of our board of directors. The Company declared preferred dividends in the amount of $5.6 million for the year 2019 but did not declare any dividends in 2020.
We currently have $5.6 million of unpaid accrued dividends on our preferred stock. As a result, we cannot pay any dividends on our common stock or pay any consideration to repurchase or otherwise acquire shares of our common stock unless full cumulative preferred dividends have been authorized and paid in accordance with the governing documentation.
On February 22, 2021, the closing sale price for our common stock, as reported on the NYSE, was $2.63. As of February 22, 2021, there were approximately 15 record holders of our common stock. This number does not reflect the beneficial owners of shares held in nominee name by record holders on their behalf.
Nonqualified Option and Incentive Award Plans
See Note 11 in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for further information.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
The following table summarizes certain information about securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans as of December 31, 2020:
|Plan Category||(a) Number of Securities to be |
Issued Upon Exercise of
Outstanding Options, Warrants, RSUs and Rights
|(b) Weighted Average Exercise Price of Outstanding Options, Warrants, RSUs and Rights||(c) Number of Securities Remaining |
Available for Future Issuance
Compensation Plans (Excluding Securities Reflected in Column (a)
Equity Compensation Plans Approved by Security Holders:
Newcastle Investment Corp. Nonqualified Stock Option and Incentive Award Plan
|787,757 ||$||1.00 ||— |
2012 Newcastle Investment Corp. Nonqualified Stock Option and Incentive Award Plan
|2,893,078 ||2.45 ||25,820 ||(D)|
2014 Newcastle Investment Corp. Nonqualified Stock Option and Incentive Award Plan
|765,416 ||4.01 ||— ||(E)|
2015 Newcastle Investment Corp. Nonqualified Option and Incentive Award Plan
|333 ||3.78 ||— ||(F)|
Drive Shack Inc. 2018 Omnibus Incentive Plan
|259,238 ||(A)||2.45 ||(C)||5,395,701 ||(G)|
|4,705,822 ||(B)||$||2.53 ||(C)||5,421,521 |
Equity Compensation Plans Not Approved by Security Holders:
|November 2013 Manager Option Award||489,148 ||$||3.57 ||— |
|Total Not Approved||489,148 ||$||3.57 ||— |
See notes to table below.
(A)Includes 143,609 RSUs granted to employees (net of forfeitures and releases),and (ii) 115,629 RSUs granted to our directors, net of forfeitures and releases, other than Mr. Wesley R. Edens, representing the aggregate annual automatic stock awards to each such director for the periods subsequent to the adoption of the 2018 Plan.
(B)Includes (i) 3,138,097 options held by an affiliate of the former Manager; (ii) 1,308,154 options granted to the former Manager and assigned to certain of Fortress’s former employees, (iii) 333 options and 115,629 RSUs granted to our directors, other than Mr. Edens, and (iv) 143,609 RSUs granted to employees.
(C)Represents the weighted average exercise price of the 259,238 RSUs.
(D)The maximum available for issuance is 3,333,333 shares in the aggregate over the term of the 2012 Plan and no award shall be granted on or after May 7, 2022 (but awards granted may extend beyond this date). The number of securities remaining available for future issuance is net of (i) an aggregate of 13,312 shares of our common stock awards to our directors, other than Mr. Edens, representing the annual stock awards to each such director for the periods subsequent to the adoption of the 2012 Plan and prior to the adoption of the 2014 Plan and (ii) an aggregate of 3,294,201 options which have been previously granted under the plan.
(E)The maximum available for issuance was 166,666 shares in the aggregate over the term of the 2014 Plan and no award (other than a tandem award) may be granted after April 8, 2015 (but awards granted may extend beyond that date).
(F)The maximum available for issuance was 300,000 shares in the aggregate over the term of the 2015 Plan and no award (other than a tandem award) may be granted after April 16, 2016 (but awards granted may extend beyond that date).
(G)The maximum available for issuance is 5,395,701, subject to an annual limitation as detailed in the 2018 Plan, out of a total of 6,697,710 over the entire five-year term of the 2018 Plan.
Material Features of the Equity Compensation Plans Not Approved by Security Holders
November 2013 Manager Option Award
In November 2013, options to acquire a total of 489,148 shares of the Company’s common stock were granted to an affiliate of the former Manager as compensation to the former Manager for its successful efforts in raising capital for the Company. The options have a per-share exercise price of $3.57. The options were fully vested on the date of grant and became exercisable over
a 30-month period in equal monthly installments beginning on the first of each month following the month in which the options
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Removed and Reserved
Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.
The following should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto included in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data,” and Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors.”
The Company is an owner and operator of golf-related leisure and entertainment venues focused on bringing people together through competitive socializing. Our common stock is traded on the NYSE under the symbol “DS.”
The Company conducts its business through two primary operating segments:
Entertainment Golf Business | Drive Shack
Our Entertainment Golf business is primarily focused on competitive socializing within the leisure and social entertainment industry, combining chef-inspired food and beverage offerings, with innovative technology modernizing ways to experience golf as a sport and form of entertainment that appeals to a broad range of audiences and competitive appetites.
During the second half of 2019, we opened three Generation 2.0 Drive Shack venues in Raleigh, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia and West Palm Beach, Florida.
We opened our first Drive Shack venue in Orlando, Florida in April 2018, which has largely served as our research and development and testing venue. During the fourth quarter of 2019, we briefly closed this venue to retrofit with Generation 2.0 enhancements, including new ball tracking technology (TrackMan™), enhanced gaming and a redesigned outfield to provide a more engaging guest experience.
Additionally, the Company is committed to leases in New Orleans, Louisiana and in Manhattan (Randall’s Island), New York for its entertainment golf venues.
Traditional Golf Business
Our Traditional Golf business, American Golf, is one of the largest operators of golf properties in the United States. As of December 31, 2020, we owned, leased or managed 60 properties across 9 states and have more than 30,000 members.
During 2020, the Company sold one golf property for an aggregate sale price of $34.5 million. As of December 31, 2020, we have successfully sold 25 of our 26 owned golf properties for a total aggregate sales price of $204.2 million, which was reinvested in our Entertainment Golf business as part of our overall growth strategy to expand golf as a sport and form of entertainment, after repayment of the Traditional Golf loan in December 2018.
During 2020, the Company entered into a total of four new management agreements. One of the new management agreements related to the golf property sold during the year and another related to a terminated lease but in both instances, the Company was retained as manager.
For further information relating to our business, see “Item 1. Business.”
Our ability to execute our business strategy, particularly the development of our Entertainment Golf business, depends to a degree on our ability to monetize our remaining investments in loans and securities, optimize our Traditional Golf business, including sales of certain owned properties, and obtain additional capital. We have substantially monetized our historical investments in loans and securities and have a small number of positions remaining that we could sell or use as collateral or support in a lending transaction. We recently raised capital through the equity markets in February 2021; however, rising interest rates or stock market volatility could impair our future ability to raise equity capital on attractive terms.
Our ability to generate income is dependent on, among other factors, our ability to raise capital and finance properties on favorable terms, deploy capital on a timely basis at attractive returns, and exit properties at favorable yields. Market conditions
outside of our control, such as interest rates, inflation, consumer discretionary spending and stock market volatility affect these objectives in a variety of ways.
Entertainment Golf Business
Our ability to open our targeted number of Entertainment Golf-related venue formats in 2021 and beyond will depend on many factors, including our ability to identify sites that meet our requirements and negotiate acceptable purchase or lease terms.
There is competition within the bid process, and land development and construction are subject to obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals. Delays in these processes, as well as completing construction and recruiting and training the necessary talent, could impact our business.
Trends in consumer spending, as well as climate and weather patterns, could have an impact on the markets in which we currently, or will in the future operate. In addition, our Entertainment Golf business could be impacted on a season-to-season basis, based upon corporate event and social gatherings during peak and off-peak times.
Traditional Golf Business
Our Traditional Golf business is subject to trends in consumer discretionary spending, as well as climate and weather patterns, which has a significant impact on the markets in which we operate. Traditional Golf is generally subject to seasonal fluctuations caused by significant reductions in golf activities due to shorter days and colder temperatures in the first and fourth quarters of each year. Consequently, a significantly larger portion of our revenue from our Traditional Golf operations is earned in the second and third quarters of our fiscal year. In addition, severe weather patterns can also negatively impact our results of operations.
While consumer spending in the Traditional Golf industry has not grown in recent years, we believe improving economic conditions and improvements in local housing markets have helped and will continue to help drive membership growth and increase the number of golf rounds played. In addition, we believe growth in related industries, including leisure, fitness and entertainment, may positively impact our Traditional Golf business.
Application of Critical Accounting Policies
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations is based upon our Consolidated Financial Statements, which have been prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. The preparation of financial statements in conformity with GAAP requires the use of estimates and assumptions that could affect the reported amounts of assets and liabilities, the disclosure of contingent assets and liabilities and the reported amounts of revenue and expenses. Our estimates are based on information available to management at the time of preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements, including the result of historical analysis, our understanding and experience of the Company’s operations, our knowledge of the industry and market-participant data available to us.
Actual results have historically been in line with management’s estimates and judgments used in applying each of the accounting policies described below, and management periodically re-evaluates accounting estimates and assumptions. Actual results could differ from these estimates and materially impact our Consolidated Financial Statements. However, the Company does not expect our assessments and assumptions below to materially change in the future.
A summary of our significant accounting policies is presented in Note 2 to our Consolidated Financial Statements, which appear in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.” The following is a summary of our accounting policies that are most affected by judgments, estimates and assumptions.
Impairment of Property and Equipment and Intangible Assets
Long-lived property, equipment and definite-lived intangible assets are tested for potential impairment when changes in circumstances indicate the carrying amount of the assets, or other appropriate grouping of assets, may not be fully recoverable. Indicators of impairment include material adverse changes in the projected revenues and expenses, significant underperformance relative to historical or projected future operating results, and significant negative industry or economic trends. An impairment is determined to have occurred if the future net undiscounted cash flows expected to be generated is less than the carrying value of an asset. The impairment is measured as the difference between the carrying value and the fair value. Significant judgment is required both in determining impairment and in estimating the fair value. We may use assumptions and estimates derived from a review of our operating results, business projections, expected growth rates, discount rates, and tax rates. We also make certain assumptions about future economic conditions interest rates, and other market data. Many of the factors used in these assumptions and estimates are outside the control of management, and can change in future periods.
Membership Deposit Liabilities
In our Traditional Golf business, private country club members generally pay an advance initiation fee deposit upon their acceptance as a member to the their country club. Initiation fee deposits are refundable 30 years after the date of acceptance as a member. The difference between the initiation fee deposit paid by the member and the present value of the refund obligation is deferred and recognized into revenue in the Consolidated Statements of Operations on a straight-line basis over the expected life of an active membership, which is estimated to be seven years. The determination of the estimated average expected life of an active membership is based on company-specific historical data and involves judgment and estimation. The present value of the refund obligation is recorded as a membership deposit liability in the Consolidated Balance Sheets and accretes over a 30-year nonrefundable term using the effective interest method. This accretion is recorded as interest expense, net in the Consolidated Statements of Operations.
Impairment of Other Investments
We evaluate our other investments for impairment whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount might not be recoverable. The evaluation of recoverability is based on management’s assessment of the financial condition and near term prospects of the commercial real estate project, the length of time and the extent to which the market value of the investment has been less than cost, availability and cost of financing, demand for space, competition for tenants, changes in market rental rates, and operating costs. As these factors are difficult to predict and are subject to future events that may alter management’s assumptions, the values estimated by management in its recoverability analyses may not be realized, and actual losses or impairment may be realized in the future.
We account for stock-based compensation for options in accordance with the fair value recognition provisions, under which we use the Black-Scholes option valuation model, which requires the input of subjective assumptions. These assumptions include expected volatility, expected dividend yield of our stock, expected term of the awards and the risk-free interest rate.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements
See Note 2 in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for information about recent accounting pronouncements.
Results of Operations
The following tables summarize the changes in our consolidated results of operations from year-to-year (dollars in thousands):
Comparison for Results of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019
|Year Ended December 31,||Increase (Decrease)|
|Golf operations (A)||$||189,972 ||$||216,497 ||$||(26,525)||(12.3)||%|
|Sales of food and beverages||30,015 ||55,567 ||(25,552)||(46.0)||%|
|Total revenues||219,987 ||272,064 ||(52,077)||(19.1)||%|
|Operating expenses (A)||188,745 ||229,306 ||(40,561)||(17.7)||%|
|Cost of sales - food and beverages||8,834 ||15,217 ||(6,383)||(41.9)||%|
|General and administrative expense||31,284 ||47,976 ||(16,692)||(34.8)||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||27,152 ||22,396 ||4,756 ||21.2 ||%|
|Pre-opening costs||1,328 ||9,040 ||(7,712)||(85.3)||%|
|(Gain) Loss on lease terminations and impairment||(721)||15,413 ||(16,134)||(104.7)||%|
|Total operating costs||256,622 ||339,348 ||(82,726)||(24.4)||%|
|Other income (expenses)|
|Interest and investment income||565 ||955 ||(390)||(40.8)||%|
|Interest expense, net ||(10,968)||(8,760)||2,208 ||25.2 ||%|
|Other (loss) income, net||(7,611)||20,876 ||(28,487)||N.M.|
|Total other income (expenses)||(18,014)||13,071 ||(31,085)||237.8 ||%|
|Loss before income tax||$||(54,649)||$||(54,213)||$||436 ||0.8 ||%|
N.M. – Not meaningful
(A)Includes $50.4 million and $52.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively, due to management contract reimbursements reported under revenue accounting standard, ASC 606.
Revenues from Golf Operations
Revenues from golf operations decreased by $26.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to a $29.2 million decrease in Traditional Golf revenue, partially offset by a $2.7 million increase in Entertainment Golf revenue. The decrease in Traditional Golf revenue was primarily due to lost revenues during temporary closures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a $13.7 million decrease due to fewer leased and owned Traditional Golf properties in 2020, and a $2.0 million decrease in revenues from managed courses, primarily due to a decrease in reimbursed expenses. Entertainment Golf revenue increased by $2.7 million due to three additional venues operating in 2020 for more months as compared to the prior period, offset by lower event revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Sales of Food and Beverages
Sales of food and beverages decreased by $25.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to a $28.3 million decrease in Traditional Golf sales, partially offset by a $2.7 million increase in Entertainment Golf sales. The decrease in Traditional Golf sales was primarily due to the loss of tournament and large group event-related revenues resulting from continued COVID-19 related operational restrictions in effect in 2020 combined with a $2.6 million decrease due to fewer leased and owned Traditional Golf properties in 2020. Entertainment Golf sales increased by $2.7 million due to three additional venues operating in 2020 for more months as compared to the prior period, offset by lower event revenue due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Operating expenses decreased by $40.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to a $43.7 million decrease in Traditional Golf operating expenses, partially offset by a $3.1 million increase in Entertainment Golf operating expenses. The decrease in Traditional Golf expenses was primarily due to $15.1 million in payroll and payroll-related cost reductions largely resulting from the furlough of the substantial majority of our employees during the temporary closures, a $7.2 million decrease in rent expenses, a $14.3 million decrease due to fewer leased and owned traditional golf properties and a $2.0 million decrease in reimbursed expenses for our managed courses. Entertainment Golf expenses increased $3.1 million due to three additional venues operating in 2020 for more months as compared to the prior period.
Cost of Sales - Food and Beverages
Cost of sales - food and beverages decreased by $6.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to a $7.1 million decrease in Traditional Golf cost of sales, partially offset by a $0.7 million increase in Entertainment Golf cost of sales. The decrease in Traditional Golf cost of sales was due to lower food and beverage sales in addition to temporary closures in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a $1.0 million decrease due to fewer leased and owned Traditional Golf properties in 2020. Entertainment Golf cost of sales increased by $0.7 million due to three additional venues operating in 2020 for more months as compared to the prior period.
General and Administrative Expense (including Acquisition and Transaction Expense)
General and administrative expense decreased by $16.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 due to a $7.7 million decrease in Traditional Golf expense, a $6.8 million decrease in Entertainment Golf expense, and a $2.2 million decrease in corporate expense. The decreases across segments were primarily due to payroll and payroll-related cost reductions of $9.0 million resulting from employee furloughs and headcount reductions, $5.2 million due to decreased professional fees, $1.4 million in decreased employee meal and travel costs, and a $1.1 million reduction in corporate-level marketing spend.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization increased by $4.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 due to depreciation of assets placed into service at the three Entertainment Golf venues opened in 2019, and on assets placed in service for the renovation of our Orlando, Florida Entertainment Golf venue in November 2019, partially offset by a reduction in depreciation in the Traditional Golf business primarily due to properties that were sold and exited in prior periods.
Pre-opening costs decreased by $7.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to costs associated with the opening of three new Entertainment Golf venues in 2019. Pre-opening costs can fluctuate based on timing of venue openings and geographic locations.
(Gain) Loss on Lease Terminations and Impairment
During the year ended December 31, 2020, impairment consisted of: a (i) $2.9 million gain on the termination of two traditional golf leases in 2020 primarily due to the derecognition of long-lived asset, intangible asset, and ROU asset and liability balances and, (ii) a $2.0 million gain on sale of Entertainment Golf equipment, partially offset by $3.9 million of impairment on two Traditional Golf properties and $0.2 million of losses on asset retirements. During the year ended December 31, 2019, impairment consisted of: (i) $1.2 million on three Traditional Golf properties that were classified as held-for-sale and subsequently sold, (ii) $3.8 million on two leased Traditional Golf properties, (iii) $10.2 million of losses on asset retirements of certain software and equipment as a result of the decision to discontinue use at our Entertainment Golf venues, and (iv) $0.2 million of losses on asset retirements in our Traditional Golf business.
Interest and Investment Income
Interest and investment income decreased by $0.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to lower balances and rates in interest bearing cash accounts.
Interest Expense, net
Interest expense, net increased by $2.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to a decrease of interest expense capitalized into construction in progress balances associated with the opening of three golf Entertainment Golf venues in 2019 compared to one Entertainment Golf venue with significant construction activities in 2020.
Other Income, Net
Other income, net decreased by $28.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2020 compared to the year ended December 31, 2019 primarily due to an other-than-temporary impairment charge of $24.7 million in 2020 on the Company's equity method investment and a decrease of $2.9 million in gains on the sale of traditional golf properties over the same period.
Comparison of Results of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018
|Year Ended December 31,||Increase (Decrease)|
|Golf operations (A)||$||216,497 ||$||244,646 ||$||(28,149)||(11.5)||%|
|Sales of food and beverages||55,567 ||69,723 ||(14,156)||(20.3)||%|
|Total revenues||272,064 ||314,369 ||(42,305)||(13.5)||%|
|Operating expenses (A)||229,306 ||251,794 ||(22,488)||(8.9)||%|
|Cost of sales - food and beverages||15,217 ||20,153 ||(4,936)||(24.5)||%|
|General and administrative expense||47,976 ||38,560 ||9,416 ||24.4 ||%|
|Depreciation and amortization||22,396 ||19,704 ||2,692 ||13.7 ||%|
|Pre-opening costs||9,040 ||2,483 ||6,557 ||N.M.|
|(Gain) Loss on lease terminations and impairment||15,413 ||8,240 ||7,173 ||N.M.|
|Realized and unrealized (loss) gain on investments||0 ||(131)||131 ||(100.0)||%|
|Total operating costs||339,348 ||340,803 ||(1,455)||(0.4)||%|
|Operating loss||(67,284)||(26,434)||40,850 ||154.5 ||%|
|Other income (expenses)|
|Interest and investment income||955 ||1,794 ||(839)||(46.8)||%|
|Interest expense, net ||(8,760)||(16,639)||(7,879)||(47.4)||%|
|Other income, net||20,876 ||2,880 ||17,996 ||N.M.|
|Total other income (expenses)||13,071 ||(11,965)||25,036 ||(209.2)||%|
|Loss before income tax||$||(54,213)||$||(38,399)||$||(15,814)||(41.2)||%|
N.M. – Not meaningful
(A)Includes $52.4 million and $22.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018, respectively, due to management contract reimbursements reported under revenue accounting standard, ASC 606.
Revenues from Golf Operations
Revenues from golf operations decreased by $28.1 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to decreases of: (i) $66.6 million related to fewer Traditional Golf properties owned or operated in 2019, (ii) $3.1 million related to greens fees and cart rental fees for Traditional Golf business operating in early 2019, and (iii) $0.5 million driven by fewer events at our Traditional Golf properties, partially offset by an increase of (iv) $33.4 million in revenues from management contracts including $30.3 million of reimbursed expenses, (v) $1.6 million related to increases in The Players' Club memberships, (vi) $1.6 million related to increases in dues at private golf properties, and (vii) $5.6 million in our Entertainment Golf business due to three new venues that opened in 2019.
Sales of Food and Beverages
Sales of food and beverages decreased by $14.2 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to a decreases of: (i) $21.1 million due to fewer Traditional Golf properties owned or operated in 2019 and (ii) $2.3 million driven by fewer events at our Traditional Golf properties, partially offset by an increase of (iii) $9.2 million in our Entertainment Golf business due to three new venues that opened in 2019.
Operating expenses decreased by $22.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to decreases of: (i) $64.7 million due to fewer Traditional Golf properties owned or operated in 2019, (ii) $1.4 million due to decreased utility and water usage, partially offset by increases of: (iii) $30.3 million of reimbursed expenses from management contracts, (iv) $2.0 million in Traditional Golf repairs and maintenance expenses due to the benefit of insurance proceeds in 2018, (v) $0.5 million in payroll expense primarily due to an increase in California minimum wage, and (vi) $11.0 million in our Entertainment Golf business due to three new venues that opened in 2019.
Cost of Sales - Food and Beverages
Cost of sales - food and beverages decreased by $4.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to decreases of (i) $7.0 million due to fewer Traditional Golf properties owned or operated in 2019 and (ii) $0.2 million due to lower sales volumes for Traditional Golf properties operated in both periods, partially offset by (iii) an increase of $2.3 million in our Entertainment Golf Business due to three new venues that opened in 2019.
General and Administrative Expense (including Acquisition and Transaction Expense)
General and administrative expense increased by $9.4 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to increases of: (i) $5.2 million of higher payroll and payroll related expenses primarily related to the hiring of employees in our Entertainment Golf segment, (ii) $1.3 million of higher travel and other related expenses as part of the development of the Entertainment Golf business, (iii) $0.6 million of expenses associated with Entertainment Golf sites that we are no longer pursuing, (iv) $0.5 million of higher rent and related office expenses associated with our corporate offices in New York and Dallas, (v) $1.0 million of higher marketing expenses primarily related to the re-branding of our Entertainment Golf business in 2019, and (vi) $0.7 million of higher costs primarily related to the negotiation and development of potential Entertainment Golf venue locations.
Depreciation and Amortization
Depreciation and amortization expense increased by $2.7 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 due to increases of: (i) $2.9 million in depreciation of assets placed into service in our Entertainment Golf business for our Orlando, Florida venue in April 2018 and for our three venues in Raleigh, North Carolina; Richmond, Virginia; and West Palm Beach, Florida in August, September and October 2019, respectively, (ii) $1.1 million due to amortization on additional finance lease right-of-use ("ROU") assets for equipment, and (iii) depreciation of additional assets placed in service at Traditional Golf properties, partially offset by (iv) a $1.8 million reduction in depreciation due to Traditional Golf properties that were exited in 2018 and 2019.
Pre-opening costs increased by $6.6 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to costs associated with the opening of three new Entertainment Golf venues in 2019 compared to one venue opened in 2018. Pre-opening costs can fluctuate based on timing of venue openings and geographic locations.
(Gain) Loss on Lease Terminations and Impairment
During the year ended December 31, 2019 impairment consisted of: (i) $1.2 million loss on three Traditional Golf properties that were classified as held-for-sale and subsequently sold, (ii) $3.8 million loss on two leased Traditional Golf properties, (iii) $10.2 million of losses on asset retirements of certain software and equipment as a result of the decision to discontinue use at our Entertainment Golf venues, and (iv) $0.2 million of losses on asset retirements in our Traditional Golf business. During the year ended December 31, 2018 impairment consisted primarily of $7.0 million due to impairment on five Traditional Golf properties that were classified as held-for-sale and $0.9 million on three leased Traditional Golf properties.
Realized and Unrealized (Gain) Loss on Investments
During the year ended December 31, 2018, we recorded a net realized gain on the mark-to-market value of a derivative which was unwound in December 2018.
Interest and Investment Income
Interest and investment income decreased by $0.8 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to lower balances in interest bearing cash accounts.
Interest Expense, net
Interest expense, net decreased by $7.9 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to a decrease of $8.0 million related to the Traditional Golf loan payoff in December 2018, partially offset by an increase of interest expense capitalized into construction in progress balances associated with the opening of three Entertainment Golf venues in 2019.
Other Income, Net
Other income, net increased by $18.0 million during the year ended December 31, 2019 compared to the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to: (i) $10.6 million in higher gains from sale of Traditional Golf properties, (ii) $0.9 million of losses recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 related to Traditional Golf lease modifications and terminations, (iii) $5.3 million of losses recognized during the year ended December 31, 2018 primarily due to a $4.9 million settlement of a legal dispute related to the exit of a Traditional Golf leased course, and (iv) $1.3 million in lower losses on the extinguishment of debt primarily due to the payoff of a Traditional Golf loan in December 2018.
Liquidity and Capital Resources
Our primary sources of liquidity are our current balances of cash and cash equivalents. We also generated capital through the completion of the sales of 25 of our 26 owned Traditional Golf properties which was completed by December 31, 2020. The proceeds generated by these transactions were reinvested in our Entertainment Golf business and used to pay overhead expenses.
As of December 31, 2020, we had $47.8 million of available cash, including $16.2 million of cash from the Traditional Golf business.
Our primary cash needs are capital expenditures for developing and opening new Drive Shack and new smaller format Puttery venues, remodeling and maintaining existing facilities, funding working capital, operating lease and finance lease obligations, servicing our debt obligations, paying dividends on our preferred stock, and for general corporate purposes.
The Company’s growth strategy is capital intensive and our ability to execute is dependent upon many factors, including the current and future operating performance of our Entertainment Golf venues and Traditional Golf properties, the pace of expansion, real estate markets, site locations, our ability to raise financing and the nature of the arrangements negotiated with landlords. Based upon current levels of operations and anticipated growth, we expect that cash flows from operations, combined with other financing alternatives in place or available, and further combined with the asset sales, as discussed below, will be sufficient to meet our working capital and capital expenditure requirements for the foreseeable future.
As of December 31, 2020, we are actively exploring the capital markets to meet our short and long-term liquidity requirements to fund our planned growth, including new venue development and construction, product innovation, and general corporate needs. Our financial objectives include diversifying our financing sources, optimizing the mix and maturity of new debt financings, public or private equity issuances, and strategically monetizing our remaining real estate securities and other investments. We continually monitor market conditions for these financing and capital opportunities, and at any given time, may enter into or pursue one or more of the transactions described above. However, we cannot ensure that capital will be available on reasonable terms, if at all.
In February 2021, the Company was able to raise $54.6 million in net proceeds through an equity offering. See Note 17 in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for information about this transaction.
For a further discussion of risks that could affect our liquidity, access to capital resources and our capital obligations, see Part I, Item 1A. “Risk Factors” above.
Summary of Cash Flows
The following table and discussion summarize our key cash flows from operating, investing and financing activities:
|Year ended December 31,|
|Net cash (used in) provided by:|
|Investing activities||24,942 ||(11,993)||25,929 |
|Net Increase (Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents, Restricted Cash and Restricted Cash, noncurrent||$||18,869 ||$||(50,855)||$||(90,869)|
Cash flows used in operating activities consist primarily of net losses adjusted for certain items including depreciation and amortization of assets, amortization of prepaid golf member dues, impairment losses, other gains and losses from the sale of assets, stock-based compensation expense, and the effect of changes in operating assets and liabilities.
Net cash flow used in operating activities changed from $28.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2019 to $1.3 million for the year ended December 31, 2020. It changed from $7.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 to $28.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2019. These changes resulted primarily from the factors described below:
2020 compared to 2019
•Operating cash flows increased due to the following:
◦$17.1 million decrease of general and administrative expenses due to decreased headcount and professional fees primarily due to COVID-19 related reductions
◦$7.3 million increase in operating cash flows from the Traditional Golf business primarily due to addition of managed courses during 2019 and 2020 and the exit of non-profitable courses in 2019
◦$2.3 million increase in operating cash flows primarily due to the more months in operation in 2020 for the Entertainment Golf venues in Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia and West Palm Beach, Florida as compared to 2019.
2019 compared to 2018
•Operating cash flows decreased due to the following:
◦$9.9 million increase of general and administrative expenses due to increased headcount and professional fees primarily due to the development of the Entertainment Golf business; and
◦$10.1 million decrease of decreased revenues from the Traditional Golf business due to the sale of properties during 2019; and
◦$4.4 million increase of pre-open costs primarily due to the opening of three Entertainment Golf venues in 2019 compared to one venue opened in 2018.
•Operating cash flows increased due to the following:
◦$1.8 million due to management fees paid in 2018 that were incurred in 2017 when the Company was externally managed; and
◦$1.7 million increase in operating cash flows primarily due to the opening of Entertainment Golf venues in Raleigh, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Cash flows generated from investing activities primarily relate to proceeds from the dispositions of Traditional Golf properties and sales of and repayments from investments in securities and loans and were primarily used for capital expenditures related to the development of the Entertainment Golf venues, and renovations of existing facilities.
Cash provided by investing activities increased by $36.9 million in 2020 compared to 2019. Cash provided by investing activities decreased by $37.9 million in 2019 compared to 2018.
Capital Expenditures. Our total capital expenditures for 2020, 2019, and 2018 were $10.7 million, $74.9 million, and $62.4 million respectively.
We expect our capital expenditures over the next 12 months to range between $57.1 and $58.6 million, which includes developing new Drive Shack and smaller format Puttery venues and remodeling and maintaining existing facilities.
Traditional Golf property dispositions. As of December 31, 2020, we have successfully sold 25 of our 26 owned golf properties for a total aggregate sales price of $204.2 million, of which $33.6 million, $62.9 million, and $88.3 million was received, net of transaction costs, in 2020, 2019, and 2018, respectively. We continue to own one Traditional Golf property, which is classified as held-for-use. We may continue to pursue the monetization of our owned golf property to generate capital for reinvestment in the Entertainment Golf business.
Cash flows used in or provided by financing activities consist primarily of cash from the repayment of debt obligations, deposits received on golf memberships, and the payment of preferred dividends.
Cash used in financing activities decreased by $6.0 million in 2020 compared to 2019. Cash used in financing activities decreased by $98.9 million in 2019 compared to 2018.
Dividends. The Company has paid preferred dividends declared in the amount of $5.6 million in each 2019 and 2018 and has not declared preferred dividends in 2020. The Company has an ongoing obligation to satisfy the distribution requirements of the preferred shares, in accordance with the terms of the issuance. Effective January 1, 2017, the Company revoked its election to be treated as a REIT for federal income tax purposes. As a result, the Company is no longer subject to the distribution requirements applicable to REITs, and the timing and amount of distributions are in the sole discretion of its board of directors, which has elected not to declare common stock dividends for 2018 through 2020 to retain capital for growth.
Debt Obligations. The Company made contractual payments on its finance leases in 2020, 2019 and 2018. In 2018, the Company repaid the Traditional Golf loan using proceeds from the sale of Traditional Golf properties.
Golf Membership Deposits. Private country club members generally pay an advance initiation fee deposit upon their acceptance as a member to the respective country club, which are refundable 30 years after the date of acceptance as a member.
See Note 8 in Part II, Item 8. “Financial Statements and Supplementary Data” for further information related to our debt obligations and contractual maturities as of December 31, 2020.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
As of December 31, 2020, we had the following material off-balance sheet arrangements. We believe that these off-balance sheet structures presented the most efficient and least expensive form of financing for these assets at the time they were entered, and represented the most common market-accepted method for financing such assets.
•In April 2006, we securitized Subprime Portfolio I. The loans were sold to a securitization trust, of which 80% were treated as a sale, which is an off-balance sheet financing.
•In July 2007, we securitized Subprime Portfolio II. The loans were sold to a securitization trust, of which 90% were treated as a sale, which is an off-balance sheet financing.
We have no obligation to repurchase any loans from either of our subprime securitizations. Therefore, it is expected that our exposure to loss is limited to the carrying amount of our retained interests in the securitization entities, in the amount of $3.2 million as of December 31, 2020. A subsidiary of ours gave limited representations and warranties with respect to the second securitization; however, it has no assets and does not have recourse to the general credit of the Company.
The following table summarizes our contractual arrangements as of December 31, 2020, and the timing and effect that such commitments are expected to have on our liquidity and capital requirements in future periods:
|Fixed and Determinable Payments Due by Period|
Finance lease obligations - Equipment (A)
|7,136 ||10,288 ||3,600 ||313 ||21,337 |
Junior subordinated notes payable (B)
|1,285 ||2,570 ||2,570 ||62,889 ||69,314 |
Operating lease obligations (C)
|34,152 ||58,043 ||42,950 ||177,666 ||312,811 |
Membership deposit liabilities (D)
|14,841 ||8,394 ||11,938 ||213,427 ||248,600 |
Credit facilities, Traditional Golf (B)
|5 ||10 ||10 ||287 ||312 |
|$||57,419 ||$||79,305 ||$||61,068 ||$||454,582 ||$||652,374 |
(A)Includes interest based on rates existing at lease inception or ASC 842 adoption on January 1, 2019. Leases that are repayable prior to maturity at our options are reflected as their contractual maturity dates. See Note 6 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussions.
(B)Includes interest based on rates existing at December 31, 2020 and assumes no prepayments. Obligations that are repayable prior to maturity at our option are reflected at their contractual maturity dates. See Note 8 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussions.
(C)Includes leases of golf courses and related facilities, carts and equipment. Excludes escalation charges which per our lease agreements are not fixed and determinable payments. Also excludes four month-to-month property leases which are cancellable by the parties with 30 days written notice and various month-to-month operating leases for carts and equipment. The aggregate monthly expense of these leases was $0.1 million. See Notes 2 and 6 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussions.
(D)Amounts represent gross initiation fee deposits refundable 30 years after the date of acceptance of a member. See Notes 2 and 13 to our Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Market risk is the exposure to loss resulting from changes in interest rates, credit spreads, foreign currency exchange rates, commodity prices and equity prices. We substantially exited our real estate related debt positions, which significantly reduced our market risk exposure related to interest rate risk, credit spread risk and credit risk. We are also exposed to inflationary factors in our business.
Commodity Price Risk
We are exposed to market price fluctuation in food and beverage product prices and these fluctuations can materially impact our costs. There is no assurance that supply and demand factors such as disease or inclement weather will not cause the prices of the commodities used in our operations to fluctuate. Significant increases in the price of commodities could have a material impact on our operating results to the extent that such increases cannot be offset by menu price increases or other operating efficiencies.
The primary inflationary factors affecting our operations include materials and labor costs. We have a substantial number of hourly employees who are paid wage rates at or based on the applicable federal, state or city minimum wage and increases in the minimum wage will increase our labor costs. In general, we have been able to partially offset cost increases resulting from inflation by increasing prices, improving productivity, or other operating changes. We may or may not be able to offset cost increases in the future. In addition, our leases require us to pay taxes, maintenance, repairs and utilities and these costs are subject to inflationary increases. In some cases, some of our lease commitments are tied to consumer price index (“CPI”) increases. Furthermore, our financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP and our distributions are determined by our board of directors primarily based on our capital needs, and, in each case, our activities and balance sheet are measured with reference to historical cost and/or fair market value without considering inflation.
See Part II, Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Market Considerations” for a further discussion of recent trends and events affecting our liquidity, unrealized gains and losses.
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data.
Index to Financial Statements:
Reports of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm.
Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019.
Consolidated Statements of Operations for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Loss for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Consolidated Statements of Changes in Equity for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows for the years ended December 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
All schedules have been omitted because either the required information is included in our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto or it is not applicable.
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of Drive Shack Inc. and Subsidiaries
Opinion on the Financial Statements
We have audited the accompanying consolidated balance sheets of Drive Shack Inc. and Subsidiaries (the Company) as of December 31, 2020 and 2019, the related consolidated statements of operations, comprehensive loss, changes in equity and cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, and the related notes (collectively referred to as the “consolidated financial statements”). In our opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Company at December 31, 2020 and 2019, and the results of its operations and its cash flows for each of the three years in the period ended December 31, 2020, in conformity with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the Company's internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control-Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 framework) and our report dated March 16, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Adoption of Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2016-02
As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company changed its method of accounting for leases in 2019 due to the adoption of ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), and the related amendments.
Basis for Opinion
These financial statements are the responsibility of the Company's management. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s financial statements based on our audits. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audits in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free of material misstatement, whether due to error or fraud. Our audits included performing procedures to assess the risks of material misstatement of the financial statements, whether due to error or fraud, and performing procedures that respond to those risks. Such procedures included examining, on a test basis, evidence regarding the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. Our audits also included evaluating the accounting principles used and significant estimates made by management, as well as evaluating the overall presentation of the financial statements. We believe that our audits provide a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Critical Audit Matter
The critical audit matter communicated below is a matter arising from the current period audit of the financial statements that was communicated or required to be communicated to the audit committee and that: (1) relates to accounts or disclosures that are material to the financial statements and (2) involved our especially challenging, subjective or complex judgments. The communication of the critical audit matter does not alter in any way our opinion on the consolidated financial statements, taken as a whole, and we are not, by communicating the critical audit matter below, providing a separate opinion on the critical audit matter or on the accounts or disclosures to which it relates.
|Impairment of Long-Lived Assets|
|Description of the Matter||As discussed in Note 2 to the consolidated financial statements, the Company periodically reviews the carrying amounts of its long-lived assets, including real estate held-for-use as well as finite-lived intangible assets and right-of-use assets, to determine whether current events or circumstances indicate that such carrying amounts may not be recoverable. The assessment of recoverability is based on management’s estimates by comparing the sum of the estimated undiscounted cash flows generated by the underlying asset, or other appropriate grouping of assets, to its carrying value to determine whether an impairment existed. If the carrying amount is greater than the expected undiscounted cash flows, the assets are considered impaired and an impairment charge is recognized to the extent the carrying value of such asset exceeds its fair value. During the year ended December 31, 2020, the Company recognized an impairment charge of $3.9 million related to the long-lived assets at certain of its properties.|
Auditing the Company’s impairment assessment of the long-lived assets associated with its Traditional Golf properties and Entertainment Golf venues was complex and highly judgmental due to the significant estimation required in determining the future cash flows used to assess recoverability of each long-lived asset group (undiscounted) and determining the fair value (discounted). The significant assumptions used in the assessment include the estimated future cash flows directly related to the future operation of the properties (including revenue growth rates) and the discount rate used to determine fair value. These assumptions are subjective in nature and are affected by expectations about future market or economic conditions (including the effects of the global pandemic).
|How We Addressed the Matter in Our Audit||We obtained an understanding, evaluated the design and tested the operating effectiveness of controls over the Company's long-lived asset impairment process. These procedures included testing controls over management’s review of the significant assumptions described above including the future cash flow projections and the discount rate used to determine the fair value of the long-lived assets that were determined to be impaired.|
Our testing of the Company’s impairment assessment of the long-lived assets associated with Traditional Golf properties and Entertainment Golf venues included, among other procedures, evaluating the significant assumptions discussed above and the key inputs used to project the undiscounted future cash flows and to estimate the fair value of the asset groups. For a sample of properties, we tested the completeness and accuracy of the data used by the Company in its analyses and compared the significant assumptions used to determine the future cash flows to historical results of the properties, current industry and economic trends, and inquired of the Company’s executives to understand the business initiatives supporting the assumptions in the future cash flows. We performed sensitivity analyses of significant assumptions to evaluate the changes in the fair value of the properties that would result from changes in the underlying assumptions.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
We have served as the Company’s auditor since 2000.
New York, New York
March 16, 2021
Report of Independent Registered Public Accounting Firm
To the Board of Directors and Stockholders of Drive Shack Inc. and Subsidiaries
Opinion on Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
We have audited Drive Shack Inc. and Subsidiaries’ internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on criteria established in Internal Control—Integrated Framework issued by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (2013 Framework) (the COSO criteria). In our opinion, Drive Shack Inc. and Subsidiaries (the Company) maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2020, based on the COSO criteria.
We also have audited, in accordance with the standards of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (United States) (PCAOB), the 2020 consolidated financial statements of the Company and our report dated March 16, 2021 expressed an unqualified opinion thereon.
Basis for Opinion
The Company’s management is responsible for maintaining effective internal control over financial reporting and for its assessment of the effectiveness of internal control over financial reporting included in the accompanying Management’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting. Our responsibility is to express an opinion on the Company’s internal control over financial reporting based on our audit. We are a public accounting firm registered with the PCAOB and are required to be independent with respect to the Company in accordance with the U.S. federal securities laws and the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the PCAOB.
We conducted our audit in accordance with the standards of the PCAOB. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain reasonable assurance about whether effective internal control over financial reporting was maintained in all material respects.
Our audit included obtaining an understanding of internal control over financial reporting, assessing the risk that a material weakness exists, testing and evaluating the design and operating effectiveness of internal control based on the assessed risk, and performing such other procedures as we considered necessary in the circumstances. We believe that our audit provides a reasonable basis for our opinion.
Definition and Limitations of Internal Control Over Financial Reporting
A company’s internal control over financial reporting is a process designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the reliability of financial reporting and the preparation of financial statements for external purposes in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. A company’s internal control over financial reporting includes those policies and procedures that (1) pertain to the maintenance of records that, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company; (2) provide reasonable assurance that transactions are recorded as necessary to permit preparation of financial statements in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, and that receipts and expenditures of the company are being made only in accordance with authorizations of management and directors of the company; and (3) provide reasonable assurance regarding prevention or timely detection of unauthorized acquisition, use, or disposition of the company’s assets that could have a material effect on the financial statements.
Because of its inherent limitations, internal control over financial reporting may not prevent or detect misstatements. Also, projections of any evaluation of effectiveness to future periods are subject to the risk that controls may become inadequate because of changes in conditions, or that the degree of compliance with the policies or procedures may deteriorate.
/s/ Ernst & Young LLP
New York, New York
March 16, 2021
DRIVE SHACK INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(dollars in thousands, except share data)
|Cash and cash equivalents||$||47,786 ||$||28,423 |
|Restricted cash||2,252 ||3,103 |
|Accounts receivable, net||4,446 ||5,249 |
|Real estate assets, held-for-sale, net||— ||16,948 |
|Real estate securities, available-for-sale||3,223 ||3,052 |
|Other current assets||14,410 ||17,521 |
|Total Current Assets||72,117 ||74,296 |
|Restricted cash, noncurrent||795 ||438 |
|Property and equipment, net of accumulated depreciation||169,425 ||179,641 |
|Operating lease right-of-use assets||192,828 ||215,308 |
|Intangibles, net of accumulated amortization||15,124 ||17,565 |
|Other investments||— ||24,020 |
|Other assets||6,765 ||4,723 |
|Total Assets||$||457,054 ||$||515,991 |
|Liabilities and Equity|
|Obligations under finance leases||$||6,470 ||$||6,154 |
|Membership deposit liabilities||14,692 ||10,791 |
|Accounts payable and accrued expenses||29,596 ||25,877 |
|Deferred revenue||23,010 ||26,268 |
|Other current liabilities||28,217 ||23,968 |
|Total Current Liabilities||101,985 ||93,058 |
|Credit facilities and obligations under finance leases - noncurrent||12,751 ||13,125 |
|Operating lease liabilities - noncurrent||167,837 ||187,675 |
|Junior subordinated notes payable||51,182 ||51,192 |
|Membership deposit liabilities, noncurrent||99,862 ||95,805 |
|Deferred revenue, noncurrent||9,953 ||6,283 |
|Other liabilities||3,447 ||3,278 |
|Total Liabilities||$||447,017 ||$||450,416 |
|Commitments and contingencies|
Preferred stock, $0.01 par value, 100,000,000 shares authorized, 1,347,321 shares of 9.75% Series B Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, 496,000 shares of 8.05% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, and 620,000 shares of 8.375% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock, liquidation preference $25.00 per share, issued and outstanding as of December 31, 2020 and 2019
|$||61,583 ||$||61,583 |
Common stock, $0.01 par value, 1,000,000,000 shares authorized, 67,323,592 and 67,068,751 shares issued and outstanding at December 31, 2020 and 2019, respectively
|673 ||671 |
|Additional paid-in capital||3,178,704 ||3,177,183 |
|Accumulated other comprehensive income||1,468 ||1,710 |
|Total Equity||$||10,037 ||$||65,575 |
|Total Liabilities and Equity||$||457,054 ||$||515,991 |
See notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
DRIVE SHACK INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
FOR THE YEARS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2020, 2019 and 2018
(dollars in thousands, except share data)
|Year Ended December 31,|
|Golf operations||$||189,972 ||$||216,497 ||$||244,646 |
|Sales of food and beverages||30,015 ||55,567 ||69,723 |
|Total revenues||219,987 ||272,064 ||314,369 |
|Operating expenses||188,745 ||229,306 ||251,794 |
|Cost of sales - food and beverages||8,834 ||15,217 ||20,153 |
|General and administrative expense||31,284 ||47,976 ||38,560 |
|Depreciation and amortization||27,152 ||22,396 ||19,704 |
|Pre-opening costs||1,328 ||9,040 ||2,483 |
|(Gain) Loss on lease terminations and impairment||(721)||15,413 ||8,240 |
|Realized and unrealized (gain) loss on investments||— ||— ||(131)|
|Total operating costs||256,622 ||339,348 ||340,803 |
|Other income (expenses)|
|Interest and investment income||565 ||955 ||1,794 |
|Interest expense, net ||(10,968)||(8,760)||(|