City of Cedar Falls losing money on municipal golf courses - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

City of Cedar Falls losing money on municipal golf courses

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Cedar Falls is just one example in which city-owned golf courses are having trouble covering costs.

On top of a late-arriving spring, and consequently causing courses to open later this year for business, maintenance costs continue to rise. Add the fact that golf numbers are declining both nationally and in the Cedar Valley - and cities realize backswings and birdies aren't paying the bills.

Cedar Falls owns Pheasant Ridge and Walter's Ridge golf courses. Cedar Falls Leisure Services said the two courses have led to deficits every fiscal year since 2005. Deficit figures for the last five fiscal years are as follows:

  • 2013: $171,299
  • 2012: $181, 118
  • 2011: $135,915
  • 2010: $103,530
  • 2009: $120,293
Some avid golfers said because golf is an expensive sport, they can see why numbers may be dwindling. To combat the trend to recruit more golfers, Pheasant Ridge directors said they hope to increase the number of memberships any way they can.

"We're doing some programs with the juniors, we're doing more clinics with adults and start to create more excitement, get them out here in the evenings as well," Darin Justice said, an Assistant Golf Professional at Pheasant Ridge.

Cedar Falls Leisure Services said the city has several options in moving forward. One option is privatization, and make the two courses their own entities. Another is to take over golf operations altogether, in which city employees would run the courses. City officials said another route to exercise is marketing, and try to increase the number of players through different strategies.

The city is researching and and observing its two courses at this point, still deciding ways in which to proceed with golf operations.
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