The public course has a rich history through its original design by A. W. Tillinghast and as the site of Sam Snead’s 1949 PGA Championship win. But it has been operating at a loss for most years since 2000 and the county Board of Supervisors no longer wants to proceed with $300,000 of planned renovations, choosing instead to consider bringing in outside management or repurposing the acreage.
A round of renovations to Belmont Golf Course, a county-owned golf course in Henrico County, Va., is off the table for now, as the county Board of Supervisors ponders bringing in a third party to manage the property, or repurposing its acreage, Richmond (Va.) BizSense reported.
At their annual retreat in January, BizSense reported, supervisors discussed options to have Belmont Golf Course be leased to an outside operator for day-to-day management or to find other recreational uses for its 125 acres.
The decision comes after years of losses at the daily-fee course, which opened in 1916 as part of Hermitage Country Club and become county-owned in the 1970s.
The course has a rich history, having been designed originally by A. W. Tillinghast and then hosting the 1949 PGA Championship won by Sam Snead.
Neil Luther, Director of Henrico’s Recreation and Parks Department, which oversees the operations of Belmont GC, said the county is in the early stages of laying out mechanisms for exploring the other options beyond continuing to manage the course directly, BizSense reported. But there’s not yet a timeline for the process, Luther added.
The process, Luther said, would entail soliciting outside proposals from golf-course operators and going through a masterplan process for new park uses. Public notices would be put out for each route, BizSense reported.
The course will remain open in the interim and the supervisors’ decision means the county won’t move forward with $300,000 worth of renovations that had been planned for Belmont’s bunkers, BizSense reported.
As C&RB reported last October (http://clubandresortbusiness.com/2017/10/local-group-pushes-restore-belmont-gc), those plans caused a minor stir last year when a group of local golfers and self-described golf course architecture nerds raised concerns that the bunker re-do would further bury the original designs of Tillinghast, an icon of golf-course design whose creations include Cedar Crest Park in Dallas, San Francisco Golf Club, and Quaker Ridge Golf Club and Bethpage Black in New York.
Belmont GC has been operating at a cash loss most years since 2000, Luther told BizSense. The course lost $176,000 in fiscal year 2017, after 24,000 rounds played, according to figures from the county. That came after a loss of $30,000 in 2016, when 28,000 rounds were played.
The peak for Belmont GC was in the 1990s, Luther said, when it saw 50,000 rounds played annually.
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