Tuesday, January 21, 2014

McCall Lake Golf Course to remain open through the 2015 season

The McCall Lake Golf Course, which was slated to close after the 2014 golf season, will remain open throughout 2015.

Last year, The City of Calgary announced its plans to close the golf course in 2014 based on a business operations review that identified the McCall Lake Golf Course as an opportunity for divesture due to significant operating and capital costs. The timeline has been adjusted to allow for further analysis of potential site development and public engagement.

“The comprehensive Feasibility Study needed for the repurposing of McCall Lake requires significant planning from many departments across The City and it’s important we get this right,” says Kurt Hanson, Director of Recreation.

“To accommodate the additional work required, to thoroughly understand what the site is capable of, we have adjusted the timeline so that players can continue to enjoy the course for at least one more season.”

Over the next 10 years, approximately $34.5 million is needed to address life-cycle needs across the municipal golf system, of which $6.7 million is required at McCall Lake. Additionally, the northeast golf course runs an average annual deficit of between $200,000 and $250,000.

The redevelopment of the McCall Lake Golf Course was found to be the most viable option as no further operating or capital funding would be required. Additionally, the repurposing of McCall provides a unique redevelopment opportunity. A Concept Plan of the site includes the potential development of a commercial/industrial area and recreational campus.

“To ensure this site is truly reflective of citizen needs, a number of engagement opportunities are being planned so that everyone has the opportunity to be heard,” says Manager of Golf Operations Kyle Ripley.

Engagement opportunities will include focus group sessions, telephone and online surveys, as well as open house sessions. Phase 1 begins on Jan. 27, 2014, with targeted focus groups. Attendance to the focus group sessions is by invitation.

Phase 2 is open to all Calgarians and will kick off Feb. 17, 2014. This phase includes a general population survey by telephone and an online survey posted on The City’s website that will mirror the questions used in the telephone survey. Open House information sessions will also be held during the last week of February 2014.

Details about the open house sessions will be advertised on The City’s website and social media pages in the coming weeks. All information gathered during the engagement phase of the project will be shared with Council.

“We have heard over and over again from Calgarians, both golfers and non-golfers, that they want to give input on the McCall Lake redevelopment plan,” says Ripley. “And we want to provide Council with all the information they need to make decisions about McCall Lake moving forward.”

Municipal Golf Course Operations has been self-supporting for the last 18 years and continues to rely on revenues to support its operations and capital budgets. While Golf Course Operations has continued to meet its commitments on the operating side of the business, it has been at the expense of life-cycle and capital maintenance requirements.

“The business model we have been working under is no longer sustainable,” says Ripley. “We look forward to hearing Calgarians thoughts on McCall Lake and involving them in the process to help ensure we can continue to offer municipal golf in Calgary in the years to come.”

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