Wichita City Council approves increase in golf, cart fees

04/01/2014 10:41 AM

04/01/2014 10:51 AM

It will cost a little more to tee off or ride in a cart at Wichita’s public golf courses, effective Tuesday.

The Wichita City Council approved an increase of $1 per round on three courses – Tex Consolver, MacDonald and Sim. Green fees at Auburn Hills and L.W. Clapp would remain the same, as would rates for junior and senior golfers.

Currently, green fees at Tex Consolver, MacDonald, Sim and L.W. Clapp are $22 on weekdays and $24 on weekends. Green fees at Auburn Hills are $25 on weekdays and $30 on weekends.

The council also approved cart fee increases – from $6.05 to $7 per person for nine holes and from $10.60 to $12 per person for 18 holes – for all courses.

City parks director Doug Kupper attributed the increase to “the rising costs of doing business.”

City staff estimates that the green fee increase will generate $65,000 in revenue and the cart fee increases $106,000 in revenue for the city’s golf operation. The additional money will be used to reduce golf debt, stabilize and increase the operating balances of the city’s golf fund and pay for equipment replacement.

Even with the increase, rates remain below the city’s regional golf course competitors, Kupper said.

Clapp, which was once recommended for closure, was exempted from a green fee increase to keep the number of golf rounds up, Kupper said.

“We want everyone to be able to play,” he said.

Council member James Clendenin, whose District 4 includes Clapp, said he wonders about the effect the price hikes will have on the number of rounds played at the city courses.

“When you want to increase business, you cut prices and move product,” he said.

The rate hikes were recommended by the city’s golf advisory committee, which was formed two years ago to keep the golf enterprise fund solvent, through the review of operations, business and marketing plans.

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