City seeks ideas about operating golf course
Aug. 9, 2017 at 9:30 p.m.
Updated Aug. 10, 2017 at 6 a.m.
WANTED: A company that has managed "top-quality" golf courses and has knowledge about the golf industry's challenges - including those that affect the Riverside Golf Course.
The city is officially asking companies to submit plans to run the Riverside Golf Course, which is temporarily closed while the city improves the greens.
The city's request for a company to run the course comes after the previous management agency couldn't overcome financial problems, leaving the city to take over in July.
The city is hoping to find a company to run the course for the next decade - and potentially longer, according to the proposal. Companies have until Sept. 1 to submit formal plans, which the city will score based on criteria such as professional experience, contract pricing and management ability.
"We're wanting those people that are proposing to come in with ideas," said City Manager Charmelle Garrett.
The 27-hole course was managed by the Victoria Parks Improvement Association for more than 50 years, until the associated kept accumulating debt but couldn't boost course revenues. The agency's financial records show it takes anywhere from about $800,000 to $900,000 to run the course each year.
Going forward, companies who want to run the course must explain how they plan to make it financially stable. They'll also be able to give suggestions for what to do with nine of the course's 27 holes, which were closed to cut maintenance costs.
"It's a little premature to talk about specific terms," said Garrett, adding the city will know more about the course's future after companies submit proposals.
The city is, however, requiring that a company provide some specific services including golf lessons, tournament services, equipment rentals and repairs.
Companies will have to explain how they'll establish fees in addition to how they would manage the golf shop on site.
Garrett said she's hoping to have a recommendation for which company to pick by the beginning of November. The City Council would then have to vote on the plan.
In the meantime, the city is working to open the golf course soon - but doesn't have an exact date yet.
"I may have a better idea within the next two weeks," said Garrett. "We're still working on getting the greens in the condition to (open) it back up."