Golf club seeks less city funding for 2017

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When the Benson Golf Club approached the city council last year with its financial troubles, it pointed out that it expected to be $60,000 short with its cash flow on operations as well as needing $40,000 for equipment.

The $40,000 has been paid, and helped greatly with updating aged equipment inventory, Golf Club Board President Jerry Peterson told the city council earlier this month.

The golf club is running just about exactly along the lines it projected late last fall for the 2016 year. It is expected on the current trajectory the club will end December about $60,000 short.

If additional revenues come in, due to an extended playing year or special events the club conducts, it might not need to ask for the whole $60,000. And, so far, it hasn’t needed city funding. But as play now starts to wind down the revenues start to slow dramatically. October, November and December are months with very little income, but ongoing operational expenses.

In looking at 2017, the board is against projecting an operating loss of $35,000. While it is an improvement of $25,000 over 2016, it is still a loss.

One of the ways in which the golf club has reduced its losses was through a new membership deal. It offered new members a three-year contract with 50 percent off their dues for the first year, 30 percent off the second year, and 10 percent off the third year.

“That helped us,” Peterson said. “We got some new members.” However, there were also some membership losses.

To continue the effort to attract new members, the golf club will again offer the three-year discounted contract to new members, he told the council. Last year the club didn’t publicize its special dues structure for new members and that may have limited the success of the program. But this year it plans on doing a better job of promoting it, Peterson said...


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