Less than satisfied with the golf course evaluation conducted by THK Associates, the City of Dela has decided to complete its own comprehensive assessment and strategic plan for Devil's Thumb Golf Club.
"Staff is looking for a way to make the golf course work for everybody," said city manager Justin Clifton.
He recognizes it will be difficult to find a compromise that's acceptable to everyone, but believes there is a way to maximize the city's investment while mitigating the downfalls widely associated with the golf course.
The process begins by asking the right questions, Clifton said. At the Nov. 20 city council meeting he put forth 14 suggestions intended to assist the city council in determining what constitutes success and failure for the short- and long-term operations of Devil's Thumb:
1. What can we learn from the history of Devil's Thumb operations?
2. What studies have been done and what do they tell us?
3. Who golfs and who doesn't?
4. Whose voice should be heard and why?
5. How do we assess the course's value as a recruitment tool?
6. How do we assess the course's value in bringing retail shoppers to Delta?
7. What are the historical trends of membership?
8. What long term development value exists?
9. Are there alternatives in operation models that could lower costs?
10. How much financial contribution should be made from other funds?
11. Are there more and less appropriate sources of funding?
12. Are there new sources of funding to consider?
13. Are there long-term factors that will make a meaningful impact?
14. What are the impacts of failure?
"Council has expressed frustration that we don't have clear direction and a clear goal in mind for both the short term and long term," Clifton said. Exhaustive, detailed answers to these questions should put council on the right track for developing a strategic plan.
Clifton said it will be important to make sure everybody's voice is heard, in addition to the discussion already held with the Citizen Financial Task Force and the Golf Course Advisory Committee.
"Our next step is to put together some timelines," Clifton said. "We want to have a really good analysis for council's consideration by the time we discuss the budget for 2014."
Later in the meeting council members did act on one recommendation from THK, to increase membership fees at Devil's Thumb. The goal is to decrease transfers to the Golf Course Fund.
Annual membership fees will increase from $950 to $1,000 for singles and from $1,350 to $1,500 for couples.
A weekday round of golf (18 holes, with cart) will cost $45, an increase of $3. A round of golf Friday-Saturday (18 holes, with carts) will run $55, an increase of $6.
The new fees take effect Jan. 1. When rates were last increased in January 2012, golf course manager Rob Sanders noted membership rates had not gone up for six years.blog comments powered by Disqus