Winnipeg to lease four city-owned golf courses
Harbour View, Kildonan Park, Windsor Park and Crescent Drive golf courses losing money
Four of Winnipeg's golf courses are on their way to become will be leased by private companies after a committee approved recommendations on Monday.
According to the city Harbour View, Kildonan Park, Windsor Park and Crescent Drive golf courses are losing millions of dollars, and will turn to leasing options to recoup the losses.
According to a report by the city, the move will trim losses by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Rick Thain, former administrator for city golf courses for over two decades, agreed that the courses are money losers. He said the problem is that they are running under a special operating agency and gather more costs.
"If they deal with the personnel department or the purchasing department or the law department or anything that they do, they're charged a fee for it, and all of that contributes to the high cost of operations."
Thain said that when the city leased out John Blumberg Golf Course, it turned a profit of more than $300,000.
Winnipeg Golf Services said it has a deficit of $7.1 million, with a 2012 projected loss of more than $800,000.
The Winnipeg Labour Council said that the city has left the courses in disrepair and this move will be a step closer to permanent closure.
"Just contracting it out is the first step to that because we think the users fees will go up, the golf courses won’t be used as much and then they’ll have no other option than to just sell the land," said Dave Sauer, President of the Winnipeg Labour Council.
The city has 45 days to create a plan before putting it before city council.
The city owns 12 courses, several of which have been leased out.