Could the have a new owner?
Woodbury resident Chris Soukup says he has a “half-assembled” group that has been looking at buying a course in the area. He attended Wednesday night's Woodbury City Council meeting to express his interest in buying the Eagle Valley Golf Course.
He told Patch that Woodbury's municipal course has been “mismanaged” and a private group would have a better shot at making Eagle Valley successful.
“It could do very well,” said Soukup, a business consultant.
A purchase wouldn’t happen anytime soon.
Councilman Paul Rebholz on Wednesday reported findings from the Eagle Valley Golf Course Task Force, which outlined a three-year plan for turning around the financial standing of the course.
“I think it’s a great course,” Rebholz said.
Woodbury has already , and Rebholz said the city will look at new marketing efforts and focus more on the “windshield” rather than the “rear-view mirror.”
“That, to me, is the biggest thing,” he said.
Rounds are down at courses across the country, Rebholz said, and a particularly poor golf season in 2011 was felt at Eagle Valley.
The city’s efforts will focus on getting Woodbury residents to play the course more and a promotional effort that markets the city’s amenities—, the , etc.—as a whole.
“There’s a symbiotic relationship, and we should be marketing the different pieces,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said.
The city plans to set benchmarks for the course, and if things don’t improve, “there will be some other decisions that need to be made,” Rebholz said.
The course breaks even from an operations standpoint but has had trouble keeping up with its debt service and capital improvements.
“We’re actually holding our own,” Rebholz said, adding later: “Overall, the city’s equity position in the course is pretty good.”
There are covenants in place that require Eagle Valley to remain a golf course or parkland for the next 14-15 years, Rebholz said. Much of the development in that area was also driven by the existence of the course, he said.
Community Development Director Dwight Picha noted that the market for golf courses is down right now and it wouldn’t make sense for the city to pursue a sale. He also said that future growth in the city—it will likely have a population of 85,000 to 90,000 when fully built out—could open the door for more rounds at Eagle Valley.
Soukup said was disappointed that the city has committed to running the course for the near future. “It’s a poor recommendation," he said.
But his group will continue to look at buying an area course.
“If it’s not this one, it will be another,” Soukup said.