The Lynden, Wash., property includes an 18-hole championship golf course, a large pro shop and changing rooms. In other management firm news, Integrity Golf could take over operations of Brevard County, Fla.’s three golf courses: The Habitat in Grant-Valkaria, The Savannahs on Merritt Island, and Spessard Holland in Melbourne Beach.
KemperSports has been selected to manage Homestead Golf & Country Club in Lynden, Wash., the centerpiece of a 400-home residential community since 1993.
The 18-hole championship golf course features wide landing areas and multiple tee options set among the valley of the Cascade Mountains to the east. In addition to golf, the club includes a large pro shop with changing rooms and fireplace.
“Homestead Golf Club has a long standing reputation as a great value golf experience in the region,” said KemperSports CEO Steve Skinner. “We look forward to working with ownership to provide the best possible experiences for the community residents and golfers in the Pacific Northwest.”
In Brevard County, Fla., commissioners want to bring in an expert in golf course management to run and revitalize the county’s three golf courses, the Brevard County-based Florida Today reported.
County commissioners will consider signing lease and management agreements with Integrity Golf Co. LLC to operate the county’s courses, including The Habitat in Grant-Valkaria, The Savannahs on Merritt Island and Spessard Holland in Melbourne Beach, Today reported.
Under the proposal, the county would receive at least $100,000 a year from Orlando-based Integrity Golf. For each of the first five years of the agreement, the county would receive more if the annual revenue from the courses exceeds about $3.33 million. In that case, the county would get 3% of the total revenue, Today reported.
In a memo to county commissioners, Brevard County Parks and Recreation Director Jack Masson said: “The history of Brevard County golf operations clearly indicated a decreasing trend in annual rounds played and, therefore, a decrease in yearly revenue collected. Nationwide, the golf industry, both public and private, has experienced the same trend.”
County officials decided that the county’s continued operation of its golf courses “would not be sustainable, based on this downward trend in rounds, the reduction in course revenues, and the exhaustion of both reserves and balance-forward” money, Masson said.
“Additionally,” Masson said, “the inability to fund capital improvements for the courses, a necessary and essential operational element ensuring a high-quality golfing experience for patrons, contributed to this negative trend.”
Larry Wojciechowski, the parks department’s support services manager, said revenue and rounds played at the three courses rose in the last county budget year, ending an extensive downturn. Revenue for the budget year ended September 30 was $2.71 million, up from $2.54 million during the previous budget year. The number of rounds played rose to 103,262, up from 93,207 the previous year, Today reported.
Wojciechowski attributed the increased use of the courses last year to discounting of course fees, Today reported.
Nevertheless, Masson said, the courses posted a combined financial operating loss of $129,500 last year, and that figure does not include the $200,000 the county spends to lease its fleet of golf carts. Nor does it include money that may be needed for future capital improvements at the courses, Today reported.
“This is a matter of fiscal responsibility,” Masson said, referring to the county’s desire to have an outside company manage its golf courses.
The annual combined revenue for the three courses peaked at $3.51 million in the 2008-09 budget year. The annual number of rounds played peaked at 163,867 in the 1996-97 budget year. Integrity would be responsible for the operating cost of the courses and capital improvements, Today reported.
“A private firm assuming the operations would shift a significant portion of the risk away from the taxpayer,” Masson said.
Masson said he expects some concerns to be raised by golfers about course fees and course conditions after the proposed management change at the three county courses. But he believes this is the best approach for the county to take, Today reported.
The County Commission in September authorized the the county’s parks and recreation department to seek out proposals for leasing the county’s three golf courses. Two responsive proposals were received—from Integrity and Ohio-based Davey Golf. A county selection committee heard presentations in November from both, evaluated and ranked both companies, and recommended Integrity for the project, Today reported.
Should the agreement be approved, Integrity Golf would continue the employ the 14 county employees of the courses for at least the next 90 days, in what’s being called a “mutual evaluation basis,” Today reported.
Wojciechowski said Brevard County would try to find positions for employees of its golf courses who do not want to work for Integrity or who do not get picked up by Integrity after the 90-day period, Today reported.