City discusses monthly-unlimited golf fee
Feb. 27, 2013 — Is $350 a fair price for a monthly-unlimited pass to Diamond Mountain Golf Course? This question was roundly debated at the Wednesday, Feb. 19 city council meeting.
City Administrator Jared Hancock said, “We spent many hours with the golf course committee looking forward at the 2013 season and trying to address any issues we might have at the golf course.” One of these issues concerned fees, particularly setting a rate for an unlimited monthly pass.
Hancock said, “The committee has really wrestled with this a lot making sure that it’s priced adequately where it’s a better value than the 10-play but still protects the value of the annual (fee).”
The committee finally set on a fee of $350 a month for unlimited monthly use.
Not everyone is happy with that price.
Mike Zunino spoke on behalf of himself and several other golfers who came to the meeting. He presented some monetary calculations and recommended $280 for the unlimited monthly pass, which he said some golfers still believed was too high.
“I think all your fees are reasonable except one,” he said. “But that one is subsidizing the other prices because it’s not balanced.”
He said the $1400 annual fee was fair and the monthly fee, at $350, would be no threat to those who buy annual passes. However, he also said it’s not always easy to come up with the annual fee all at once.
“I guarantee all of us sitting here would love to come up with that annual fee,” he said. “What a buy. The problem is you’re in a community where not everyone has that kind of money.”
Another citizen stated the problem was if you buy the annual it locks you into that golf course and many golfers like to travel around Northern California and Nevada and play golf, so the annual fee is not always beneficial to golfers.
Mayor Rod De Boer said he selected council members Brian Wilson and Nick McBride for the golf committee because, “they have a lot of energy and I respect them for the hard work they’ve put into it”
He asked whether the golf course committee would like to review the situation a little bit more and come back at a different time or whether they’d like to leave it as status quo.
Wilson was in favor of making a decision and said, “Whether it’s $350 or another number, I think we should finalize this tonight.”
He also presented more background information justifying the $350 fee.
“We were trying to simplify the pricing that was out there because it was getting out of hand,” he said. “There was a price for everything and so we were trying to simplify. We saw it as a 10-play card is $250 and we felt $280 for unlimited golf was a little on the low end. We talked about several different price points and came up with $350, which gives four extra rounds above the 10-card play. We wanted to make sure the annual memberships were getting their full value for putting their money up front. We didn’t want that monthly rate to become what we’re financing so that’s how we came up with $350.”
Councilmember Lino Callegari said he favored a $280 fee.
“Less is more,” Callegari said, “And this is a municipal golf course. It’s not a pro golf course. It’s a user facility and if you can get people out there, that’s what you want to do.”
McBride said the committee worked hard to keep the prices fair saying, “We’re just trying to find a way to make it justifiable in a short amount of time. If you’re going to be around for three or four months it makes more sense to buy the annual.”
A decision was not made. De Boer said since the item was not an action item they couldn’t vote on it and recommended the decision be brought back as an action item at the next meeting.
Zunino, who claims he is new to golfing said, “The monthly fee allowed me enough access that it got me hooked. If they go with the $350 I’m going to walk away from it because it’s just not worth it to me.”
One thing that everyone agreed on is the need for a good quality golf course the community can enjoy.
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