Adviser: Golf plays economic role in city

10:12 am | January 9, 2013

As City Council members prepare to weigh loaning $160,000 to the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course, a government

Photo by Brandon Hicks
Elizabethton’s city council will be considering a loan of $160,000 to the Elizabethton Municipal Golf Course to cover immediate debts.

adviser says any scorecard of a public golf course’s success needs to include a wide range of factors.

The Municipal Technical Advisory Service’s Pat Hardy, whose December report offered council members their first glance at financial concerns at the course, said those factors include economic impact, providing affordable golf and the course’s place in the community.

Hardy spoke with the STAR this week and offered details on the golf course report and his recommendations to the city concerning the facility.

Hardy noted that each $1 generated at the golf course has an economic impact of $1.66 in Elizabethton. He said that equals $955,000 of annual economic activity for Elizabethton.

The course is also used by community organizations.

The Elizabethton, Hampton and Happy Valley high school golf teams and the Milligan College golf teams use the course. And in the summer of 2012, 15 community groups and six to eight church groups held fundraisers at the course that generated $146,000 for the community, Hardy said.

Council is expected to weigh loaning $160,000 to the golf course this Thursday, the funding needed to take care of the course’s immediate debts.

Hardy said that need isn’t an indication of financial problems at the course.

Photo by Brandon hicks

“It is on good financial footing,” he said.

“It hadn’t required any public help. Now it is asking for help, so it looks like it is not successful. It is successful. Public golf courses are not generally self-supporting.”

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