Proposal coming before Council

Golf clubhouse will be considered

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The Haymaker Golf Management Committee wants to use accommodations tax revenues for the next 10 years to cover the $3.96 million cost to build a golf clubhouse.

On Tuesday, the Steamboat Springs City Council will hear the golf committee's proposal and discuss whether the city should fund the project. The golf committee's presentation comes a week after the Tennis Facility Replacement Committee came before the council to discuss a $2.1 million project to replace the tennis bubble.

The proposed golf clubhouse would replace the temporary facility at the golf course and would house a 1,500-square-foot pro shop, a bar and grill to seat about 60 people, a lounge area with a fireplace, restrooms and a storage area for golf carts in the lower level.

If the city approves the funding, Golf Committee Chairman John Vanderbloemen said the committee will take the plans for the 14,940-square-foot clubhouse through the county planning process and hopes to start building in the spring. The committee is waiting for Council approval before putting the project out to bid.

"We feel the facility we plan is perfectly appropriate for the golf course and for the entryway (of town). The cost is reasonable for what we are doing, and the value is there," Vanderbloemen said.

The cost of the golf clubhouse would be covered through a $2.5 million lease purchase agreement paid for with accommodations tax revenues. The rest of the cost to build the clubhouse would be covered with reserves accumulated in the golf fund, Vanderbloemen said.

In 2005, the first year of the debt, $112,500 would be taken out of the accommodations tax. From 2006 until 2014, $225,000 annually would be taken out of the accommodations tax. In the final year of the debt service, $1.15 million would be paid. That amount would be covered from the reserves the golf committee has built.

In 1995, voters approved dedicating the city's 1 percent accommodations tax toward building a golf course. The accommodations tax raises about $630,000 a year, and the annual debt on the golf course is about $400,000 a year. The rest of the accommodations tax has gone into the golf course's reserves.

The accommodations tax must be used for above-ground amenities that benefit tourism.

In 2013, the last payment will be made on the golf course, freeing up $400,000 from the accommodations tax. The golf clubhouse would be paid off in 2015.

In its breakout of the costs, the golf committee estimates that the general construction of the clubhouse, including the site work, service yard, terraces, kitchen equipment and golf staging area, should cost about $2.8 million and $190 a square foot.

The golf committee estimates interior furnishings will cost $270,000; landscaping, $50,000; professional fees and expenses, $316,000; and other costs, such as computers and silverware, $125,000. The budget also has a 10 percent contingency of $360,000.

A new golf clubhouse would make it easier to market the golf course to visitors, Vanderbloemen said. He said that out-of-town players account for 20 percent to 25 percent of the rounds played and about 40 percent of the total revenues.

"If we had a proven clubhouse that we could market," Vanderbloemen said, "it would increase tourist rounds, which subsidize local rounds and create operational profit."

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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