BRISTOL, Tenn. – The Bristol Tennessee City Council recently asked for new ideas for the Steele Creek Golf Course property from a group called The Sports Facilities Cos., And the primary reason could be a widening loss on the bottom line for the golf course, which has lost at at least $ 77,000 per year the past three years.
In the 2019 fiscal year, before the COVID Pandemic, the golf course lost $ 79,967, according to budget documents from the city. That loss was with revenues of $ 115,183 and expenses of $ 195,150. The golf course’s finances remained roughly the same in the 2020 fiscal year, finishing in red with a loss of $ 77,266.
While revenue was projected to remain consistent around the $ 115,000 mark in 2021 and 2022, expenses increased dramatically, rising to a projected $ 235,520 in 2021 and a budgeted number of $ 247,749 in 2022. That increased the loss for the course on the bottom line to a projection of $ 127,320 in 2021 and a budgeted loss of $ 131,249 for 2022. Actual numbers have not been provided as of press time for the years of 2021 and 2022.
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Terry Napier, the Bristol, Tennessee director of Parks and Recreation, credits the Spike in spending to hiring a groundskeeper and two part-time workers, as well as daily maintenance and upkeep.
“The biggest change is in wages. We have a full-time groundsperson, and we have two that we Hired during the summer, ”Napier said. “Back in 2020, we actually spent $ 5,000 more than I budgeted because we got hit with algae on a couple of greens and had to do a bunch of extra treatments.”
Napier pointed out that golf has had a dip in Popularity over the past 10 years and that this is in part reflected in the lack of revenue growth at the golf course. However, they stressed that Steele Creek Golf Course is not meant to be competing with the private golf courses in the area.
“Golf play is down across the United States. It’s having a little resurgence right now, but as play declined over the last 10 years, revenue started to drop, ”Napier said. “It’s always nice to make money, but that’s not what the city is in [this for]. There’s not enough golfers, and there’s a hell of a lot of golf courses in Bristol. ”
Napier believes that the use of the Steele Creek Golf Course will increase in May and June.