Ironwood Country Club Liquidation Auction
Ironwood Public Country Club
Friday and Saturday, February 25th and 26th, 2011
After four decades of operation, an extensive rebranding effort, and significant renovations, the once Highland Private Country Club, now transformed into Ironwood Public Country Club, shuttered its doors permanently. In 2010, the property found a new owner in Lockwood Development of Omaha, who acquired it through an auction. Swiftly following the acquisition, Lockwood unveiled an ambitious vision for the site, encompassing a multifaceted mixed-use development comprising residential dwellings, shopping complexes, commercial offices, and places of worship.
With the development blueprint mandating a complete overhaul of the former country club property, the development company sought our assistance in liquidating all its contents. This was a necessary step to clear the path for the realization of their innovative project.
Conducting this auction posed intricate challenges owing to the diverse range of items that required liquidation. Situated within the country club's expanse were numerous components: a sprawling 20,000 square foot club house, an inviting swimming pool, and an essential maintenance shed, home to over 100 pieces of grounds maintenance equipment across the vast 153-acre premises. Our endeavors faced a confluence of hurdles stemming from both the substantial quantity and the extensive array of merchandise, compounded by the spatial constraints within the clubhouse and the considerable distances separating the various buildings on the grounds.
Addressing these challenges mandated the formulation of a comprehensive marketing strategy capable of drawing attention from an exceptionally broad spectrum of potential buyers. In addition, we undertook the task of crafting a meticulous auction day plan, designed to facilitate the sale of 2500 lots in a manner that was both swift and efficient, ensuring a seamless experience for all participants.
Our Auction Solution:
Our marketing approach exhibited remarkable diversity. We strategically positioned ads in industry-specific magazines, complemented by a comprehensive national advertising campaign spanning six weeks. This encompassed tailored placements in auction-centric, golf course-oriented, and restaurant-related publications. A notable highlight was our half-page advertisement in a golf course trades magazine, a piece that gained exceptional traction as it was circulated during the golf course trade show in Orlando, FL, just two weeks before the auction.
The auction day strategy took an innovative turn. Given the distinctive attributes of the auction, the proximity constraints within the clubhouse, and the expansive gaps between the structures, a unique approach was adopted. This translated into a two-ring auction held in a ballroom configuration. To optimize efficiency, high-value items were grouped and cataloged into four distinct auction catalogs. Each day, two simultaneous auctions would unfold in separate ballrooms within the clubhouse, facilitated by a multimedia approach. The use of photos displayed on screen via the clubhouse's audio-visual system not only enhanced the auction process but also served as a tool for conducting bids.
To accommodate the widespread audience, the decision was made to partner with Proxibid as our internet simulcast provider. This strategic choice enabled individuals across the nation to participate in the auction, engaging in live bidding alongside the on-site attendees and securing the items they desired. On the actual sale day, Proxibid provided a real-time audio and video feed of the live auction, offering an immersive experience for remote participants.
This auction proved to be a true spectacle, exceeding all expectations. Over the course of two days, we successfully sold 2500 lots, employing two auction rings that maintained an impressive pace of around 100 items per hour per ring. The turnout was staggering, with an estimated total of over 6000 attendees comprising both buyers and onlookers throughout the event. Our registrations amounted to a remarkable 1900 registered buyers, and notably, almost half of them engaged through online registration.
The generated revenue from this sale fell just shy of three times the seller's initial expectations, underscoring the resounding success of the endeavor. In sum, this was an exceptional, world-class event that attracted participants from various corners of the globe – from New York to New Zealand and from North Dakota to Mexico.