Becker City Council Member: Mayor’s Comments on Golf Course Losses ‘Overstated’
BECKER - The Becker city council is shaking things up at the Pebble Creek Golf Course, if an effort to turn things around at the city-owned course.
Councilwoman Lori Keller was on WJON today (Friday), giving a different viewpoint from Becker Mayor Lefty Kleis, who was on WJON last week.
Kleis said the course has lost over $2 million in the past six years. But, Keller says they've had $800,000 in operating losses, and an additional $600,000 in capital improvements, during that period. Keller says the losses are a small part of Becker's overall budget.
So from a cost benefit analysis it's not that bad. And in addition, a city is in the business of attracting residents, and we're in the business of attracting industries and businesses. So we need to differentiate ourselves so our amenities that we do have at Becker attract people to come and live here.
Keller acknowledged the course did lose $384,000 last year.
Rounds of golf played at the course have dropped significantly over the years, from 43,000 in 2006 to about 22,000 last year.
Meanwhile, Keller says she isn't sure why the bar and restaurant has struggled to keep an operator.
I wish I knew the answer as to why the restaurant vendors are not succeeding. I think there's probably several factors in each scenario. So what we've done is chosen to scale it down, keep it simple...
Keller says the city has hired staff to run the restaurant themselves, with a smaller menu. She says they won't be open in the winter, which should also cut down on costs.
Keller says now is not a good time to sell a golf course, she says the city would take a significant loss. Instead, the city council has decided to form a "Golf Advisory Committee" to come-up with a five-year business plan.
The city council is also hoping the addition of fling golf and foot golf will attract a young audience to the course.