Car sales fell, retailers experienced soft holiday sales and banks failed in the 2nd half of 2008 so it’s no surprise that Mother Nature followed suit with a disappointing 4th quarter of -6% in Golf Playable Hours (GPH) compared to the same period last year. The unfavorable weather month dragged the December Year-to-Date (YtD) results down yet again to -0.1% compared to the same period in 2007 (still statistically neutral).
Pellucid President Jim Koppenhaver comments on the current results saying, “The national picture is the collision of a wide range of favorable and unfavorable local market and state results. Not surprisingly, destination markets are taking significant rounds hits that aren’t related to weather (Vegas -9% in rounds, +2% in GPH, Hilton Head – 14% in rounds, flat in weather etc.). The one exception to this trend is Orlando, which is showing a nice 3% gain in rounds (aided however by a +10% increase in GPH). For the most part, the more local mainstay golf geographies like the Midwest, Texas and Northeast are showing rounds declines but most are pretty correlated to modest declines in GPH.
“As the relatively poor financials for many facilities in 2008 begin to roll in, we’re seeing more interest from the economic owners to better understand which of those losses are due to weather impact and which are operationally-driven. The smarter facility operators want to know and quantify that answer before the owners figure it out.”
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