The Gulf Breeze, Fla., club, which is owned by the municipality, has incurred $990,000 in losses to the city. Private Club Associates is conducting an assessment of the property, to determine the best course of action.
From the clubhouse to the fairways, Tiger Point Golf Club in Gulf Breeze, Fla., may be in for an overhaul, the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal reported.
“We have to look at everything: the liquor pours in the restaurant, the membership fees and how much is spent on maintaining the course,” said Steve Paris, a consultant at Private Club Associates, the Atlanta area company hired to revamp the money-losing golf facility, which is owned by the municipality.
Financial losses endured by the city of Gulf Breeze on the Tiger Point Golf Club, purchased in 2012, have reached $990,000, and the projected deficit for fiscal 2015 exceeds the municipality’s entire general reserve fund, the News Journal reported.
Paris, in a phone interview with the News Journal last week, said the contract will pay his company in the range of $30,000 to $40,000 for an in-depth analysis to be completed in May. Starting out by playing a round of golf at the club himself, Paris said he will also bring an agronomist to examine the condition of the fairways and greens. “We’ll assess whether the club could charge more if the course was in better shape,” he said.
But Paris said that the analysis must determine if improvements on the course will provide a financial return worth the expenditure. Although the 365-acre public golf club’s revenues are expected to be about $1.9 million this year, expenses are projected at $2.4 million, the News Journal reported.
Although the city of Gulf Breeze’s 2013-2014 financial results show the golf club balance sheet at break-even, that includes hundreds of thousands of dollars transferred to the facility from elsewhere in the municipality’s coffers, the News Journal reported.
But Paris said a turnaround for Tiger Point Golf Club’s balance sheet could be a relatively quick fix, perhaps within a year or two. “It should be able to show a profit on $1.9 million a year in revenue. There’s a right number for every expense: wages, the number of employees, the cart fees and everything else. You have to get the numbers right.”
Perhaps the most important adjustment could be in managing the club’s restaurant, the Sunset Grill, and have little to do with golf, he said. The restaurant, with an eclectic menu that ranges from pancakes to sweet potato fries and Asian dishes, can be a stronger rival to other sit-down eateries in Gulf Breeze, the News Journal reported.
“It’s a beautiful location on the water (Santa Rosa Sound) that could attract more customers as an alternative to driving over the bridges into Pensacola Beach or Pensacola,” said Paris. “So what would it take to double the volume?”
Paris said his analysis will also include scouting the operations, including pricing, of other golf clubs in the Pensacola area. “We want to see what the competition is doing.”
Every aspect of the club’s business is a candidate for change, Paris said. “We’re looking at it like, ‘If you gave me the keys, what would I do?'”