The municipal golf course has lowered its prices under new management and is working to set up online tee time registration. The park board is also hoping to use the clubhouse as an added revenue stream, welcoming the public to use the facility for wedding receptions and events.
The Devils Lake (N.D.) Park Board has taken over the management of Creel Bay Golf Course, and with the change in ownership comes several other changes, the Devils Lake (N.D.) Journal reported.
Perhaps most importantly for those in the Lake Region and beyond is the new rate schedule. “We’ve lowered the prices significantly,” Superintendent Terry Wallace said. “The season passes have been lowered probably 20%.”
In 2016, the early bird family rate (paid by April 15) for season passes is $600, while the rate is $675 after the 15th. Last year the rates were $793.01 and 834.75, respectively, the Journal reported.
Also, new to Creel Bay Golf Course this season is the ability for patrons to register online for tee times, and eventually season passes. “We’re not quite set up for that yet; we’re hoping to have all that stuff ready by early April,” Wallace said.
During its March 8 meeting, the board discussed the cost to have a server hosted in order to accommodate the online services. At an estimated $13,000 for the hosting of the server, including maintenance, the convenience for golfers who sign up for tee times and season passes, along with other activities, comes at a price, the Journal reported.
“We’re in it to hopefully break even,” Wallace said. “Honestly, this first year is gonna be a challenge. In the future, we hope it will be able to sustain itself.”
Aiding the park board in its goal of breaking even is Creel Bay’s clubhouse, which will serve as an added revenue stream. “We want the public to know that the clubhouse is a very nice place to have wedding receptions, different types of parties, and that it will be available year-round,” Wallace said.
Creel Bay Golf Course also features new manager Dennis Nybo, who has over two decades of experience in Bismarck’s park system. He hopes to promote the course as an attraction for a wide range of visitors to the region, the Journal reported.
“Those that might be coming for the weekend to camp, fish, enjoy the outdoors, this is another opportunity for them to come over and also do some golfing,” Nybo said.
“It’s a municipal course, open to anyone,” Wallace added. “There’s been this stigma in the past that it was a country club; people didn’t think they were welcome out there. We want everyone. We want people who used to leave Devils Lake to go to Cando or New Rockford to come back.”
Though Creel Bay has faced difficulties in the past, Wallace reports that the course is ready to go for 2016, the Journal reported.
“The course is in good shape right now. There were a lot of things the course went through that (the previous management) really had to struggle with. They added nine holes, then (had) the water situation with the dike. Now the holes are set, so we shouldn’t have to do much work now except to maintain it,” Wallace said.
Now that the course is ready to go and is set to open on April 1, weather permitting, Nybo is looking forward to putting his touch on the operation of the course, the Journal reported.
“A couple of things we’re trying to incorporate this summer are some more youth things, hopefully some lessons, maybe youth days. (We want) a whole family type of atmosphere,” Nybo said. “We’re excited to be a part of the golfing community,” Nybo continued. “We want to make sure that those that have left the golfing community in Devils Lake and have gone to the other courses—we want them back.”