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Montebello Handing Out Thirty Year No-Bid Contracts to Old Friend

By Brian Hews

November 9, 2022-The Montebello City Council, at its September meetings, approved a $16 million bond to be used to renovate the city’s golf course extensively; two weeks later, the council approved a $60 million bond that will pay for the construction of a 70,000 square-foot driving range and entertainment venue to be operated by Dallas-based TopGolf International.

The project will include a three-story driving range with 102 hitting areas, a miniature golf course, and something that the current food management company, Quiet Cannon Management (QCM) and owner Brad Perrin probably did not like; TopGolf will be allowed to have a restaurant and entertainment amenities.

QCM and Perrin have contracted with Montebello to operate the Quiet Cannon banquet and meeting location, the clubhouse facility, and other properties at the golf course for decades.

QCM rights were exclusive for all food and beverage sales and distribution for the various properties and, according to sources, were never put out to bid.

When the Hilton Garden Inn and Home 2 Suites were constructed, the City Council handed QCM exclusive rights for those two properties; during those years, Perrin donated thousands to various City Council reelection campaigns.

So, instead of negotiating with QCM before the city passed the bond and signed the deal with TopGolf, the city was now forced to “enter into certain agreements with QCM to assist in the development of the [golf course] improvements. The agreements are necessary to accomplish the objectives of defining QCM’s role and rights related to the new improvements at the golf course property.”

In essence, QCM was handed a strong negotiating position to leverage a new lucrative food and beverage agreement inside the new facilities financed with public dollars.

The staff report indicated that there would be an “impact” on QCM when the city permitted TopGolf to control the food and beverage at the TopGolf location.

Consequently, the city amended the current contract mandating TopGolf pay a flat fee annually to QCM for $250,000, “in lieu of a percentage of food and beverage sales.”

The $250,000 would be increased at the same time the base rent for TopGolf would be increased; assuming six percent, QCM will see a $15,000 increase annually.

Another agreement reconfirmed QCM’s food and beverage rights over all other “newly constructed facilities” facilities built using public funds.

Finally, and without going out to bid, another agreement extended the current hotel management contracts between the QCM and the city for an unheard of thirty years.

During public comment, several residents expressed concern about the agreements and the lack of transparency during negotiations.

With the City Council citing concerns, the agenda item was tabled until the next meeting.

Sources are telling HMG-CN that Perrin was not happy.