Fore! The Muni Financials

A lot to digest but the number that leaps out is the equity figure: it’s negative; not hugely negative — $55K negative– but still a negative equity technically means balance sheet insolvency. So if Muni were a bank we’d have to bail it out. The ’09 figure also shows a negative equity figure.
Also the liabilities and equities between ’07 and ’08 shift radically; I can’t find any explanation but it strikes me as quite odd for such extreme shifts. I’m not leaping to any conclusions until I understand the numbers a bit more; I suggest likewise for other readers.
Like I said, a lot to digest but the level of thought and analysis by the students is quite impressive. Given the level of detail and analysis, I’ll need some time to work through it so I’ll post salient points over the next few days.
Of course we will get the sideshow of political theater around this report but the students have literally done their homework and quite well at that. Game on.
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5 Responses

  1. w murphy says:

    Excellent, comprehensive report put together by the students. I’d also need more time to read through it, but at first glance, some of the suggestions at the core of this will not fly. For example, changing member fee structure from $350, plus $15 greens fee per round will chase away the people who are clearly keeping the course afloat. This would mean a golfer who plays more than 18 rounds of golf will be losing out under the new fee structure. Someone playing 70 rounds (not unheard of) may as well join Antlers.
    Also, suggesting that the course is undercharging @1500 per event may also be off-base, as many of the folks playing in the events are already members, thus in essence, the events guarantee a good guaranteed source of revenue and end up collecting ‘twice’ on any members who play in them. I also think League Play participants are already paying their fair share. Suggestions to hire a GM are also very risky and probably not sustainable.
    The one area I do agree with is connecting to our youth which will help sustain the course in the future, and reaching out to female golfers. Driving range ideas are also worth considering.
    Finally, while I agree that the course has to be marketed, I’m not convinced that golfers would travel here on a regular basis unless it was drastically less expensive to play- you golf where you live.
    Bottom line- you need to bolster and take care of your core constituents (members) and pump up events. Modest yearly membership increases may be called for, but the recommendations here go way beyond that at first glance.

  2. P. K. Dick says:

    If you change nothing, nothing will change. Maybe the revenue from the course could fund other recreation programs and improvements. Cheap golf should not be the management goal.

  3. F.George says:

    It’s a dead end.The city shouldn’t be in the golf business.Read between the lines,it appears the pro is raking in the dough with the carts.This may be why he didn’t make a fuss when the contract was agreed that he be paid 20k for his services.I think the money never hits the cash register and the students have “point”ed this out.In a way the taxpayer gets hit with a double whammy as the city has to literally hide the golf course crew within the DPW when the course closes.It is a drain on the city and should be either sold or maintained privately.If sold the taxes on the property will be significant.Also who would care if it failed at that point?

    • Chuck Rossi says:

      Concerning your assumption that the property taxes would be ‘significant’, you should be aware that that the great majority of the property is ‘undeveloped’ land. As an example, the property taxes on Rolling Hills is ~$14, 000. Muni would not be significantly more.

  4. I have a question re membership and service. What EXACTLY does my membership get me? Are there events only for members? Will there be member/non member pricing on everything golf?(pro shop, lessons, club cleaning, lockers, cart fees, tee time reservations), or does my membership end with a golf tag? MOST golf and tennis clubs offer the two price levels and other perks. If there is no reason to become a member then there is no need for anyone to part with their money upfront. Membership to a club is often a persons “third” place. Home and work being the other two. Becoming a member anywhere should give you the feeling that you are welcome and not just $$ walking around. Golf is a service industry and should be treated as such.(think diner, get-em in, great service/product, get-em out happy and they will return). To get other non members to the club will take some doing but it can be done. (inter club matches, 5 or 10 day mini memberships, jr tourneys, Parent/child events, there are others. Once they are at the course and a “day member” it will be important that they want to return, often. If you have not seen the video “give’em the pickle”, I would take time to watch. I took this course when I was working that Mid Town Athletic Club and I have used it every day in my business.

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