Wing 41, owner of the property where the Star Dome Golf Club is situated has put up a sign cancelling its contracts with all renters.
Wing 41, which belongs to the Royal Thai Air force, has announced that it has cancelled all rental agreements and asks renters to move out as soon as possible. According to Wing 41, the contract expires today and as of tomorrow Star Dome will no longer be open for business.
Wing 41 says that it is not to be held liable for any loss of employment of staff of Star Dome or any privileges of its members.
Today, however, the management of Start Dome announced that it would be holding a press conference to announce the situation, with management, staff and the media invited. However, around 20 officials from the army also were present and told the media that we were not allowed into the meeting, as the land belonged to the air force. They also told the media not to release any news about this matter and to only do so following a letter of permission.
The management of Start Dome then lead 300 staff of the golf resort to a spirit house to ask for blessings before leaving the property grounds to give the media an interview.
Dr. Panwipa Klitsadapong, manager of Star Dome said that Star Dome had bid for the rights to manage this golf course for 30 years, from 2007-2037, investing over 200 million baht in the nine hole golf course and driving range along with all of the other facilities and landscaping. After signing the contract, the army contacted them to tell them that thirty years was too long and asked to renegotiate every three years, when the rent would increase by 5%.
However, this year, when it was time to renegotiate the rent, the air force increased the rental fee by 500%, as well a putting in place many restrictions which meant that the company had to ask for permission to make any changes to the property.
Dr. Panwipa said that with the reduced income over the pandemic, they have asked the air force many times for leniency, but have now been told that they must reenter the bidding process against other companies, making their previous contract null and void.
“How are our 300 staff supposed to survive,” she asked. “We are a private company and have no interest in getting into a fight with the government, especially the army, but we are being bullied and need help and understanding. We have rights too.”