This is a dead dog,” said Chairman Corey Stewart, R-at large. “We need to put it out of its misery.”
Corey Stewart’s dead dog analogy describes how he feels about being in the golf course business. The Park Authority operates 3 public golf courses: Prince William Golf Course, Forest Greens and General’s Ridge. The courses lost a million dollars this year.
Not one has ever turned a profit, Ellington said. The smallest reported loss was $25,000; the largest, which came this year, was $1 million.
“They’ve been an average $600,000 in the hole over three years,” he said.
It’s not the operations side of business to blame, Ellington said. Rather, debt service continuously eats into revenues.
“Operations has been on the green side,” Ellington said. “It’s been positive all these years. How much we took in for revenue and how much we spent, we’ve been healthy. But our ability to cover the debt is our problem.”
Just this month, the Park Authority took steps to recoup the losses and eliminated 12 full-time positions and cut operating costs by $150,000. Expected savings are $370,030 — but that’s a far cry from the $1.08 million needed to pay the debt balance on the three courses, Ellington admitted
It sounds like Corey Stewart might be on the right track here. Who wants to buy some golf courses?