Group Plans to Offer Woodbury $1.7 Million for Eagle Valley Golf Course

The course, which had been struggling along with the rest of the golf industry, had a strong 2012 season.

A group of investors plans to make an offer on Woodbury’s Eagle Valley Golf Course.

“Probably this spring,” said Woodbury resident Chris Soukup, a business consultant, speaking for the group.

The offer will be in the $1.7 million to $1.8 million range, he said.

“The worst they could do is say no,” said Soukup, who last spring expressed interest in the course.

       Related: Group Interested in Buying Eagle Valley Golf Course

For Councilman Paul Rebholz, the city already went through a “thorough, thoughtful” process to develop a three-year plan to improve the financial standing of the municipal golf course, which had seen decreasing rounds along with the rest of the industry.

“Right now, the city’s plan with Eagle Valley is to work the plan that we approved,” Rebholz said. “For now, that's all the council is looking at.”

The Eagle Valley Golf Course Task Force report is available on the city's website.

Rebholz also mentioned the strong 2012 season at Eagle Valley.

During a mid-August report to the Woodbury City Council, course officials said revenue was up 34 percent over that time in 2011, while rounds increased 37 percent. Membership in the course’s Royal Club was also up by more than 250 over the previous year’s numbers.

       Related: Driving Toward Success? Woodbury’s Eagle Valley Golf Course

Yet Soukup said the city would be wise to sell now following a good season, and added that a private group could run the course better, relieve the city of the financial burden of operating it, and add to Woodbury’s tax base.

There would also be a new marketing plan and some upgrades to the clubhouse and course if the group were to buy it, Soukup said.

Still, he acknowledged it’s a long shot.

“I actually fully expect them to say no thanks,” Soukup said.

He said he recalled estimates that put the value of the course somewhere around $1.2 million to $1.4 million. The group would look at other courses in the state should Woodbury not accept the offer, Soukup said.

Rebholz, meanwhile, said he’s looking forward to seeing how the operational changes put in place benefit the course this spring, and encouraged area residents to golf in Woodbury.

“It’s a great course,” he said.


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Joe January 25, 2013 at 05:39 PM
I agree its easier for the course to be profitable if owned privately. You don't need to pay a union worker $25/hr plus benfits to cut the grass. Instead you pay someone $9 per hour. I worked at golf course in over the summers during high school. Its a great summer job for youth who have few summer job options nowadays. And course benefits by keeping labor costs down. The free golf is a nice benefit too for the youth.
Kris Janisch January 25, 2013 at 09:34 PM
Is that really what they pay the grounds crew Joe?
Joe January 25, 2013 at 10:00 PM
Not sure Kris. I could be completly wrong on this but since it is a city owned facility I would presume that city employees would be doing the grounds work. And most city grounds workers are unionized. So $50,000 + benefits + pension a year for a unionized grounds worker seems pretty realistic to me (probably even low). A simple government data information request to the city would get us the answer. But I don't care that much other then I think the city should consider selling because they have no chance to turn a consistent profit with high payroll costs.
Kris Janisch January 25, 2013 at 10:09 PM
Yeah, you have the think the city would at least listen. I did do some googling looking for other golf courses on the market, but I didn't really know enough to start making comparisons on prices.
Kris Janisch January 25, 2013 at 10:10 PM
Also, somebody asked me on Twitter what would be done with the course. (They plan to keep it a golf course.) There are covenants in place on the land that force it to remain a golf course or parkland for the next several years, 15 or something. I can't remember exactly how long they're in place.


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