The former Maryvale Golf Course in Phoenix has generated $949,307 in revenue during just the first quarter of 2016, compared to $950,000 in revenue during all of 2014, when it was operated by the city. Grand Canyon Education Inc. has invested $10 million to renovate the property, which reopened on January 1.
The Grand Canyon University Golf Course generated nearly the same revenue in the first quarter of 2016 as it did the entire year of 2014 when it was owned and operated by the city of Phoenix, the Phoenix Business Journal reported.
Phoenix-based Grand Canyon Education Inc. invested $10 million to renovate what was formerly known as the Maryvale Golf Course, reopening it to the public in January. It was closed for renovations during 2015, the Business Journal reported.
During the first quarter of 2016, the golf course generated $949,307 in revenue, compared with $950,000 in 2014. While the city was losing $250,000 a year by running the aging golf course, GCU was able to make a $250,000 profit during the first quarter of operation. The number of rounds played during the first quarter of 2016 was 16,534, compared with 36,500 during the entire year in 2014, the Business Journal reported.
The quality of the golf course is something golfers would expect in Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, said Brian Mueller, president of GCU and CEO of Grand Canyon Education. “But it’s at 59th Avenue and Indian School Road and has city rates,” he said. “It’s giving people reasons to come to the west side and spend money.”
On any given day, the parking lot is filled with BMWs and Mercedes, along with 15-year-old cars, he said. ”It’s becoming a very eclectic place to play golf,” Mueller said.
And there’s no dress code. “People are playing in blue jeans and T-shirts with music on their carts and they’re having a good time,” he said. “We created a different kind of culture.”
GCU hospitality students work in the renovated 22,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, complete with a restaurant and bar, as part of their hands-on learning experience, while GCU golf management students work the golf course, the Business Journal reported.
“People like to be around college kids,” Mueller said.
He said there is no doubt GCU will recoup its investment in the golf course. “We’re gonna recoup our investment, without question,” he said. “I’m not sure how long it will take. It’s a tremendous asset.”