Golf course seeks $2.5M | SteamboatToday.com

Golf course seeks $2.5M

Accommodation tax would be used

Christine Metz

A new clubhouse for the Haymaker Golf Course is estimated to cost $3.96 million.

That number was given to the City Council on Tuesday night when the Golf Management Committee presented its architectural plans for the proposed clubhouse.

Committee Chair John Vanderbloemen told the council that the golf fund reserve already has $1.5 million for the clubhouse and that the committee hopes to fund the remaining $2.5 million through the accommodation tax.

The proposed clubhouse would have a 6,300-square-foot main floor with a pro shop, restaurant and restrooms. Underneath the main floor would be a 6,300-square-foot area for golf cart and equipment storage.

Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Director Chris Wilson said the almost $4 million price tag is appropriate for the amount of square footage.

“For what we are building, it is reasonable,” Wilson said.

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The council approved spending $90,000 for more detailed construction drawings of the clubhouse, was supportive of the project and said nothing about the estimated $3.96 million cost.

The committee plans to put the project out to bid with the more detailed drawings and return to the council in late summer or early fall with more concrete cost estimates on building and financing.

“I fully support moving ahead and not standing in the way,” Councilwoman Kathy Connell said.

The $3.96 million price tag was generated by architectural firm William Zmistkowski. The firm used the square-footage cost from other golf courses it built using comparable materials and adjusted the price to the cost of construction in Steamboat.

The cost of the project would come out to roughly $314 per square foot.

“I think construction costs are always surprising; $4 million, I would love for it to be a lot less,” Vanderbloemen said. “This is an estimate for now. We’ll try to make some good decisions so the bid will come in lower than that.”

The committee hopes to pay for the clubhouse with funds from the accommodation tax.

Approved by votes in 1986, the accommodation tax is a 1 percent tax on lodging and is designated for above-ground city amenities to promote tourism.

Since the mid 1990s, the accommodation tax has been used solely to pay off the $4.9 million debt of building the golf course and for other golf course needs.

The city has an annual debt payment of about $410,000 for the golf course and will continue paying the debt until 2013, city Finance Director Don Taylor said.

The remaining money from the accommodation tax, which generated $615,000 last year, is used for reserves and to pay for golf equipment and the temporary clubhouse. The reserved money and revenues made from course operations generated the $1.5 million the golf committee intends to use for the clubhouse.

The remaining $2.5 million could be funded through lease-purchase financing, a funding mechanism that, unlike a bond, does not require voter approval. The city built Centennial Hall and Howelsen Hill through lease-purchase financing.

On Tuesday, members of the golf committee told the City Council that adding a higher-end clubhouse would attract more out-of-town players and corporate groups.

Wilson said the restaurant would have about 46 indoor seats and 32 outdoor seats on a covered porch. The restaurant also would have a breakout room with four tables that could be shut off for private functions. Ten more seats are planned for an indoor lounge area.

Wilson said the intent of the golf clubhouse was to meet the needs of golfers at Haymaker and that the city does not want to take customers away from existing restaurants.

“We want to make Haymaker a golf course, not a country club, not a place for weddings. We want corporate golf, tourist golf. We want local play,” Wilson said.

— To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com