He definitely wants no big mausoleum. That's not planned. "The headstones will be two feet, three feet high," says Keith Keeter, civil engineer with Latitude 33 Planning and Engineering, which engineered the golf course.
"It's not really a cemetery; it's a small private burial site," insists Perry Dealy, vice president of operations for Manchester Resorts. "It's his [Manchester's] passion. He loves golf. He was thinking about himself, his wife, and his mom," and perhaps two of his five children to occupy the family plot.
Manchester Resorts bought the golf course and a 24-acre hotel development site for $35 million early this year. There has been a permit for a hotel since 1996, but previous owners had not gone ahead, because of weakness in the tourism and golf industries. Some 134 homes have been built; those aren't part of Manchester's deal.
"We are looking to build a five-star product," says Dealy of the planned hotel. Already, the course is one of the most expensive in the county, with a round costing $90 during the week and $120 on weekends.
However, golf is slipping in the U.S., partly because of course overbuilding. Nationwide, rounds were down 3 percent last year, according to the National Golf Foundation, but were only down 0.2 percent in the Southwest.
Since 9/11, tourism has been down sharply in the U.S., but San Diego is doing very well. Through May, occupancy is flat and the average daily-room rate is up 4 percent, says La Jolla hotel consultant Jerry Morrison. "That's really good," he says.
So it's possible the long-delayed resort will get built, thus providing a steady stream of business to the course. And it's likely that the Manchester burial site, if it gets government approvals, will become part of national golf lore -- at least among golf fanatics.