City-owned golf course finishes year with surplus

Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course had a good 2023 and city officials say 2024 is shaping up to be even better.

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“While the weather was a little inclement during the early months – April, May and June – with an increase in the number of rain days, a strong summer and fall season allowed golf operations to exceed its budgetary goals,” a report prepared for the city’s finance committee says.

“There was a slight decrease in the number of rounds played with a total 41,035 in 2023 compared to 42,072 in 2022,” the report says. “There was, however, an increase in the number of events hosted – tournaments and clubhouse functions – with 133 in 2023 compared to 101 in 2022.

“Bookings for 2024 are event stronger at this point – new tournaments and functions as well as repeat bookings – so golf operations is optimistic in achieving its goals once again.”

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Golf operations finished 2023 with a $187,574 surplus, exceeding city council’s mandated goal of being revenue neutral. As a result, golf operations exceeded its original goal of transferring $132,954 to reserves by $54,620, the report says.

During 2021 budget deliberations, council directed golf operations to transfer $50,000 a year from its reserve to the city’s capital funding envelope to repay funding used to build the municipally-owned golf course’s new club house.

The $50,000 transfer has been made, the report says.

Meanwhile, golf operations is looking to continue to build its reserve fund to put cart paths on the course. The cart paths would help golf operations maximize its revenue potential even when there is inclement weather, the report says.

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