Before Millenium Golf Management took over operations of the Tempe, Ariz., course three years ago, the municipal property was losing money and in need of a turnaround. A city spokeswoman said “the golf fund is in the best shape it’s been in for probably 10 years,” and the city is due to renew the management contract on May 1.
Rolling Hills Golf Course, a municipal executive course in Tempe, Ariz., that opened with nine holes in 1960 and doubled in 1987, has reversed its fortune three years after Millenium Golf Management took over operations, Phoenix-based AZ Central reported.
“The golf fund is in the best shape it’s been in for a number of years, probably 10 years,” Tempe spokeswoman Amanda Nelson said. “We are pleased with Millenium Golf Management and have a great working relationship with them.”
On May 1, Tempe is due to renew Millenium’s contract. Nelson said the city is in negotiations, AZ Central reported.
Millenium receives golf-shop, restaurant and golf-instruction proceeds, and a management fee. A key is the restaurant, something that never was a strong element of the Lakes operation. Rolling Hills offers a scenic backdrop to rounds of golf. For Rolling Hills, aesthetic pluses are incredible views of the Papago Buttes and city views from some holes, AZ Central reported.
“Rolling Hills is our vision of what community-based golf should be,” Millenium partner David Hockett said. “The course is great for beginning and experienced golfers with only three par-4 holes on the front nine and more challenging five par 4s and four par 3s on the back nine.”
The property’s rates make it attractive to golfers who come in neighborhood groups of 30 to 40 on a repeat basis. During the busy season of November through April, weekend fees before noon are $39, which includes the cart. Off-season rates for weekend mornings are $26. Twilight golfing has brought in as many as 42 golfers in an evening, AZ Central reported.
Efficient water usage, fertilizers and maintenance-staff wages figure heavily on the expense side, Hockett says. Rolling Hills has four full-time maintenance staffers and two part-timers—all Tempe employees whose hours increase in the busy season. Juggling these expenses and keeping the course in good condition keeps the budget in the black with repeat business, AZ Central reported.
“Supply and demand are still a little out of whack in Arizona since the heyday of the ’90s,” Hockett said.
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