Vancouver golf beer carts fail to boost struggling courses
City says revenue has fallen $3 million since 2008 for three municipal courses
Revenue at Vancouver's municipal golf courses continues to drop, despite the recent introduction of beer carts on the links.
Park board officials had hoped that giving golfers the chance to buy a beer during their round would stop a slide in revenue that began in 2008 when the three city-run courses brought in about $12 million.
This year, they're hoping for $9.5 million in total revenue from the Fraserview, McCleery and Langara courses, with a profit of about $1 million, according to Joan Probert, the Park Board's supervisor of business services.
The carts, which sell food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, were introduced last season, but Probert says they're not a huge money maker.
"We realized that we were one of the few courses that didn't have that service available to their golfers and we decided to invest in that.
"We look at it as a service. It's not a big money maker for us," she says. "As long as the program breaks even, we're happy, because we're providing it to our guests."
The real problem is that fewer people are playing golf these days.
"Across the industry year-to-date, we're down about seven per cent."
Probert says they are fighting dwindling interest in the sport with several programs, including a new app that alerts players to upcoming available tee times.
But she says the bright spot is the youth programs, which have record enrolment this summer.