The future of Good Park Golf Course and Mud Run Golf Course is up for discussion.
Judy Stringer of Crain’s Cleveland Business reviewed the City of Akron budget task force findings in a story entitled Task Force Recommends Saying Farewell to Akron’s Fairways.
The ‘blue-ribbon’ committee said that the golf properties lost nearly $1.5 million between 2010 and 2014, a $290,000 annual deficit over the five year period.
The 58-page report includes more than 75 suggestions for improving the city’s finances and operations, including a recommendation to sell off its two money-losing golf courses, Good Park and Mud Run.
One specific suggestion from the task force is to offer the golf course properties to the Summit Metro Parks.
But according to the article, Summit Metro Park spokesman Nathan Eppink said the city has not made a proposal to the county, “nor have we had any formal discussions.”
The Crains article also suggests that Good Park could follow other city- and count-owned golf courses in the region and be turned into parks, citing comments from Joe Leslie of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy. Leslie trots out the idea that golf courses ‘use pesticides that ruin clean water’, making the conversion of golf courses into parks beneficial. Sigh. Frustrating.
See the complete story — with some quotes attributed to ‘Allen Freeman of Northeast Ohio Golf’ — here.
One quote attributed to me is not 100% clear. The article quotes me as saying:
“With fewer younger people playing the game and putting more pressure on the already saturated market, he said, it may be easier for a county, presumably with deeper pockets than a municipality, to absorb ongoing deficits.”
That quote is just a portion of what I said on the topic of ‘governments in golf’.
Yes, counties may indeed be better suited than to cities to absorb short-term financial losses; they usually have bigger bankrolls.
But that doesn’t mean I think any government agency — city, county or state — SHOULD run a golf course at a never-ending loss.
And more specifically, I didn’t say (and don’t agree) that a county is better suited than a city to lose money operating a golf course…