CourseCo gives annual update on golf operations; commission approves increased golf fees

CourseCo is going into its third year managing the city’s two municipal golf courses and in 2020, the company saw increased rounds played and revenues.

Michael Sharp, CourseCo president, reviewed the operations at Eagle Falls and Anaconda Hills golf courses during the City Commission’s Feb. 16 work session.

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Sharp said that COVID-19 challenged their operations and limited use of the newly renovated tap house, but that staff continued improving the greens and that golf was a sport that could be played safely outdoors during the pandemic restrictions.

He said that in 2019 there were 37,874 rounds played between the two city courses.

In 2020, Sharp said that number jumped to 45,611 rounds.

Of those rounds in 2019, 19,338 were public, 1,464 were tournaments and 17,072 were passholders.

Of the rounds in 2020, Sharp said, 25,368 were public, 1,243 were tournaments and 19,000 were passholders.

CourseCo updates city on golf operations; commission approves increased fees [2020]

Revenues also increased for the golf courses, and CourseCo started making payments back to the city, as stipulated in their contract. So far in this budget year, CourseCo has paid $107,000 to the city, according to the finance department.

In 2019, the two city courses under CourseCo’s management generated $1,096,271 in revenue. In 2020, that increased to $1,455,914, Sharp said.

“We believe we’ve built a great foundation,” Sharp said, and that they’re hoping to keep the new golfers that came out in 2020 during pandemic restrictions.

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Commissioner Rick Tryon said that “you guys are doing a great job” but asked if the increased golf fees, which commissioners approved during their regular meeting after the work session, would deter golfers.

Sharp said that operational costs have increased, particularly with COVID-19 requirements, and that the 3-5 percent increases they were recommending weren’t out of the ordinary and were justified by the services and product they offered.

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Sharp said they’re also hoping to get back to community programs at the golf course this year, including golf related events, as well as a 4th of July community barbecue and increasing usage and programs at the taphouse.

City Manager Greg Doyon said that though the courses are increasing their revenues, they aren’t yet in the black as the golf fund still owes the city’s general fund about $1 million “to eliminate its debt from many, many years of operating losses.”

Doyon said that under the contract, CourseCo is handling small maintenance and improvements, but the city is still responsible for any major maintenance projects and that they’ll need to set aside funds for ongoing maintenance.