Consultant: Rochester’s Oldest City Golf Course May Have To Go
Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) - A consulting firm that was hired to take an in-depth look at Rochester’s public golf course system says a big decision facing the city is what to do with its oldest course.
The report from the National Golf Foundation will be presented to the City Council Monday.
Its summary concludes the city’s four courses “appear to be well-run, but are producing activity and revenue well below the expected standard” and that the current system “is not sufficient to cover all expenses that are required to properly operate and maintain” the sites.
The report also notes the current system “has something for everyone but the City has reached a key moment in addressing the condition of facilities, as all four courses have significant capital needs.” The consulting firm says the city will have to make changes to “help ensure the quality and sustainability” of the courses.
The NGF analysis “shows that the balance between demand and supply in Rochester is not favorable” and that the courses “are essentially competing with each other for market share.”
The firm says the city needs to take a serious look at the Soldiers Field course. In fact, the firm says “the City may find that the key decision in the future of this golf system is what to do with Soldiers Field, with enhancement, reduction or closure all being viable options.”
The course opened in 1927.
- 1. Commit to completing the initial $2.4+/- million in capital projects over the next two years to address the Eastwood clubhouse and key infrastructure at Northern Hills.
- 2. Undertake completion of a formal site master plan for Soldiers Field GC, and decide on the future of this property as an enhanced 18-hole golf course, modified 9-hole golf
course or some other (non-golf) facility.
- 3. Enhance expertise in the technology that supports operations (POS, website, etc.), and use these platforms to enhance the marketing to non-residents and less frequent users.
- 4. Increase focus on new player development and beginner programs, especially with young adults.
- 5. Consider other new investments to help modernize, broaden the appeal and “liven up” facilities such as driving range improvements and/or enhanced outdoor gathering spaces.
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