City council is considering an increase in green fees for the first time in four years for Sunset, Ute Creek, and Twin Peaks golf courses.
After a four-year break, golf fees in Longmont, Colo., may be about to rise in 2015, the Longmont Times-Call reported.
On June 23, the city’s golf advisory board recommended that green fees go up by $1 per nine holes for Sunset Golf Course, while the Ute Creek and Twin Peaks courses would go up by $2 for nine holes and $3 for 18 holes. The fees will be considered by the City Council later this year as part of the budget process, the Times-Call reported.
The proposal would also bump other costs, including a 10 percent increase in membership prices, the Times-Call reported.
For most of the fees, it’s the first increase since 2011 and some go back even further, golf operations manager Larry Mills said. Normally, the city raises its golf fees every other year, which would have meant a hike in 2013, the Times-Call reported.
“We had one of our best years ever in 2012 and almost perfect weather,” Mills said. “Revenues were so good, we didn’t want to break the momentum.”
But 2013 brought a return to more normal patterns and the flood in September brought down play and required extensive repairs to Twin Peaks Golf Course. In 2012, the city saw over 100,000 rounds of play at its three courses. In 2013, that had fallen to about 87,000 rounds, the Times-Call reported.
Meanwhile, Mills noted, equipment costs have gone up by about 5 percent per year, fertilizers and fungicides have gone up by about 3 percent a year, and minimum wage has risen from $7.36 to $8 an hour since the last fee increase. Some costs have gone up more quickly than that—according to the city, golf cars have gone up in price by 24 percent since 2011, the Times-Call reported.
“We thought 2015 was the time, based on the increase in costs and the increase in our capital projects,” Mills said. “If we’re going to make improvements, we need the fees to pay for these improvements.”
A detailed report listing of the fees can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/mt5jm89. If approved, a standard nine-hole weekday green fee would be $15 at Sunset, $20 at Twin Peaks and $23 at Ute Creek; 18 holes would be $23 at Sunset, $32 at Twin Peaks and $39 at Ute Creek, the Times-Call reported.
The city’s golf courses are an enterprise fund, meaning they have to pay for themselves out of their own revenue rather than rely on tax dollars, the Times-Call reported.
A five-year plan calls for $156,000 of improvements to the course in 2015 and $380,000 in 2016, including a new control system for the sprinklers at Sunset. Both Sunset and Twin Peaks need new irrigation systems as well, but that’s not even on the horizon, estimated at $1 million and $2 million respectively, the Times-Call reported.
“It’s beyond our reach, as far as fees go,” Mills said.