Highlands partners with City of Las Vegas and San Miguel County to reopen community course for the first time since 2019

June 24, 2022

The New Mexico Highlands University’s Gene Torres Golf Course is reopening for play Saturday, June 25. The reopening is the result of a three-way partnership between San Miguel County, the City of Las Vegas, and New Mexico Highlands University.

Operations begin with a soft opening of the golf course, designed to allow community members to get a sneak peak of the course as final preparations are completed for the grand opening on July 9.

The golf course has been closed for play since 2019, but Highlands University President Sam Minner said the diligence and efforts of many community members, and the partnership the university has established with the County and City have paid off. Minner credits former Highlands Regent Louella Marr Montoya and current Regents Bill Garcia and Frank Sanchez with their initial work and persistence in reopening the course.

“This agreement really rests on the shoulders of the work of those three people,” Minner said. “There have been others involved, that’s for sure, but we’re here today, largely because of those efforts.”

Minner said the Board of Regents had charged him with reopening the course and he is pleased all of the hard work that has paid off.

“This is important for the community,” Minner said. “We want to promote development in the community economically and recreationally in other ways, too.”

President Minner sees the reopening of the golf course as a way to help bring the community together following the devastating consequences of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire. The fire’s impact on the Pendaries Golf Course was yet another incentive to provide a place for community members to come together to play.

As partners, Highlands University, Las Vegas, and the San Miguel County have created a three-person management committee that will oversee all day-to-day management and operations of the golf course.

Regent Bill Garcia said the management team will keep operations running smoothly, and he commended President Minner and Vice President Baca for securing golf carts in time for the reopening.

“As it turns out, carts are a hot item and supply chain disruptions are such that, had we not acted in advance and when we did, we would be scrambling to find carts,” Garcia said. “We appreciate the leadership on that and I’m very confident that as we move forward, we’re going to have a pretty seamless integration.”

“I couldn’t be happier about where we are right now,” Minner said. “It’s a wonderful thing to have this kind of collaboration with the community and County and the City, and I’m very confident this will be successful.”

Tee times are available starting Saturday, June 25, and can be scheduled online at genetorresgolf.com or by calling the pro shop at (505) 425-7711. The course is also accepting walk-up business.