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HAMBURG GOLF DOME IRONS OUT LEGAL SNAG IN BANKRUPTCY COURT, SWINGS BACK INTO ACTION

The $1.2 million indoor driving range at the South Shore Sports Dome in Hamburg is back in business, thanks to an agreement at U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The 60-foot high dome, featuring 40 tee sites, reopened over the weekend following a ruling by Bankruptcy Judge Carl L. Bucki. The dome is adjacent to the South Shore golf course at Southwestern Boulevard and Camp Road.

"Thanks to the approval of Judge Bucki, it will be open on an interim basis while we attempt to work out a permanent arrangement," said Thomas E. Liptak, attorney for the dome's new operator, American Golf Properties of Westfield, Mass.

"It's an excellent facility, the only golf dome in the South Towns area. Golf is a popular sport, and we feel this is a terrific business opportunity."

Liptak said that the dome's driving range is open every day from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

For several years, the dome and golf course have been the subject of fierce legal battles involving a series of bankruptcies. South Shore Sports Dome Inc., and Inside Golf Inc., two companies that ran the dome, filed for bankruptcy in June, and there have been continuing disputes over who legally owns the facility.

"Judge Bucki last week gave us permission to reopen the dome while the ownership questions are litigated in Bankruptcy Court," Liptak said. "Our hope is to continue leasing the dome, and to also work out an arrangement to operate the pro shop and restaurant at South Shore."

If allowed to continue operations, Liptak said, the new operators will have the dome open from October until April. During spring and summer, it will be deflated and taken down under an agreement with the Town of Hamburg.

The dome deflated in August, but not because of structural problems, Liptak said. "It deflated because the owners were not paying their electrical bill, and there was no power to the blowers that inflate it."

The South Shore Golf Club Holding Co., which operates the golf course, filed for bankruptcy protection in October 1994, listing assets of $3.7 million against liabilities of $1.5 million. The company resolved an ownership dispute, reorganized and came out of bankruptcy in September 1995.

The golf course was founded in 1944.

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