The Salt Lake City, Utah course was closed last year, but the city’s new mayor is more amenable to transferring ownership to Salt Lake International Airport, which could lead to the Arthur Hill-designed course being repositioned as a recreational opportunity for the region’s 16 million annual visitors.
Many golfers in the Salt Lake City, Utah area were upset when Wingpointe Golf Course closed its doors last year, but now a deal between the city and Salt Lake International Airport could have them teeing off again in the near future, KSTU Fox 13 of Salt Lake City reported.
Nearly a million dollars in the hole, golf courses in Salt Lake City, including Wingpointe, couldn’t stay afloat and were shut down in 2015, KSTU Fox 13 reported. C&RB reported on Wingpointe’s closing in November 2015: http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2015/11/19/wingpointe-gc-howell-gc-to-close/
At that time, city leaders wanted to transfer Wingpointe over to Salt Lake International Airport, KSTU Fox 13 reported, feeling it would put the city in a better position to negotiate lease terms with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“It was more like a ‘Hail Mary’ pass,” Charlie Luke, a Salt Lake City Council member, told KSTU Fox 13. “It was a last-ditch effort, really, to try to keep that course open.”
Ralph Becker, the city’s mayor at the time, didn’t want to go that route, Luke said. But current Mayor Jackie Biskupski is showing some interest, he noted.
“Now with the new administration, hopefully, we’ll see it open up again,” Luke told KSTU Fox 13.
Pat Shea, an attorney and former member of the Airport Advisory Board, told KSTU Fox 13 that Biskupski’s vision should be applauded.
“I think [Biskupski] sees it as an opportunity for the airport, which has 16 million visitors a year spending time as they’re waiting hitting golf balls or looking at the scenery,” Shea said.
With the airport operating the golf course, the FAA may be more willing to drop its demands for a fair-market value, Shea added.
“This golf course was designed by Arthur Hill, who was a golf legend in terms of golf architecture. We need to preserve that as an entry point into Salt Lake City,” Shea told KSTU Fox 13.
Luke told the station that he was hopeful the re-opening of Wingpointe could also help to bring other courses in the area back online. “There are still issues with secondary water, in order to make sure that in the long-term Wingpointe and other golf courses are self-sustaining and able to operate,” he said.
If both parties can iron things out by this fall, they may be able to open Wingpointe by the spring of 2017, KSTU Fox 13 reported, although Luke is pushing for an even earlier opening.