Increased golf fees proposed for city courses

Fees at the city’s two golf courses could increase this spring.

City Commissioners will be asked during their Feb. 16 meeting to set a new fee structure that would go into effect April 1.

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Great Falls Golf, LLC, the arm of CourseCo that took over management of the city’s two golf courses in February 2019, is recommending the fee increases to “maintain current operations, anticipate future demands and promote the golfing community,” according to the staff report.

CourseCo updates city on golf operations; commission approves increased fees

The recommended changes are: 

  • Season passes
    • Increase Eagle Falls adult season pass fees 3.65 percent, Eagle Falls adult weekday only season pass fees
      3.64 percent, Anaconda Hills adult season pass fees 4.07 percent, Anaconda Hills  adult weekday only season pass fees 3.33 percent, joint adult full season pass 3.77 percent, joint adult weekday only season pass 4.07 percent, and joint junior weekday only 2.63 percent.
  • Green fees
    • Increase Eagle Falls 18-hole weekday fees by 3.03 percent, 18-hole weekend fees by 2.78 percent, twilight weekday fees by 5.26 percent, twilight weekend fees 4 percent, 9-hole weekday fees by 5 percent and 9-hole weekend fees by 5 percent, junior weekday 5.88 percent and junior weekend 5.56 percent.
    • Increase Anaconda Hills 18-hole weekday fees by 3.70 percent, 18-hole weekend fees by 3.23 percent, twilight weekday fees by 5.56 percent, twilight weekend fees 4.76 percent, 9-hole weekday fees by 11.76 percent, and 9-hole weekend fees by 4.76 percent, junior weekday 6.67 percent and junior weekend 5.88 percent.
  • Cart rental fees
    • Increase Eagle Falls daily trail 18-hole fee by 6.67 percent, daily twilight fee 8.33 percent and season trail fee by 6.35 percent.
    • Increase Anaconda Hills daily trail 18-hole fee by 6.67 percent, daily twilight fee by 8.33 percent and season trail fee by 6.35 percent.
    • Increase Eagle Falls push cart rental by 25 percent.

Great Falls Golf and city staff reviewed the proposed changes with the Golf Advisory Board on Jan. 25 and the board recommended approval of the increased fees.

Golf fees were last increased in February 2020.

The city’s golf fund is designed to be an enterprise fund, but has relied on a subsidy from the general fund for years.

Several years ago, the city contracted with CourseCo in an effort to reduce reliance on the general fund, which is primarily tax revenue, for enterprise funds, such as the golf fund. Enterprise funds are designed to be sustained by user fees or other revenues within the city budget. The city has a number of enterprise funds, including several recreation funds, utilities, and parking.

In the last fiscal year, CourseCo made money and began paying some of those profits back to the city, as stipulated under their contract.

So far in this budget year, CourseCo has paid $107,000 to the city, dollars that are helping reduce the golf fund’s $1 million debt to the general fund.

As of Nov. 30, 2020, CourseCo had generated nearly $300,000 more in revenue than fiscal year 2019, according to city financial documents. The city’s fiscal year runs July 1 through June 30.

That the golf program is generating revenue is “remarkable,” said City Manager Greg Doyon.

CourseCo updates city on golf operations since taking over management

CourseCo took over management of the city’s two golf courses in February of 2019 and fiscal year 2020 was the company’s first full budget year managing the golf program.

The proposed fees are (NOTE: the adult weekday only pass for Eagle Falls should be $570 not $750 as included in the staff report on the city website, per the Park and Recreation Department):