WILMINGTON — After what seemed to be a great start to golf season with a record breaking month of February, the City of Wilmington will vote Tuesday on whether or not to cover a $100,000 budgetary shortfall at the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course. The money is necessary to balance the budget for the Golf Course Enterprise Fund for Fiscal Year 2017 and would come from the budget reserve.
The municipal course saw over 3,000 rounds of golf played this February, over 100 games a day which saw an increase in revenue of 51 percent, according to Communications Officer Malissa Talbert.
Original budget projections estimated the course would produce 50,000 rounds this year, but as of now, that number is closer to 42,000 rounds played, according to the ordinace proposed for Tuesday.
Some of the factors attributed to the decrease in revenue include over 45 weather-related lost days, a reduction of people playing the game of golf, and a rate increase of 35 percent two years prior, according to documents.
Reduced profits at a golf course is not unique to the municipal golf course though – in December of 2016, Port City Daily spoke with the Matrix Development Company, owners and operators of the Echo Farms Golf and Country Club.
Kyle Kirkpatrick speaking on behalf of Matrix Development said, “The fact is, the golf industry throughout the nation has been in a decade-long decline, and that’s no different in Wilmington,” he said in a previous interview with Port City Daily. “Matrix has seen far greater demand in our tennis and swimming facilities, which is why it has significantly expanded those components in its proposed site plan.”
Matrix is currently involved in an attempt to develop its golf course, over the objection of not only abutting home owners, but many residents who say the county is being overdeveloped. Some are now asking that the land be purchased by the county as either a public golf course or county park.
_____________________________________________________________________ Michael Praats can be reached via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @Michael_praats