The real problems with Salt Lake City’s golf program stem from decades of conflicted Salt Lake City Council leadership. If golf is going to be run as a for-profit enterprise as currently structured in the budget, then the mayor and City Council needs to re-invest in their current assets and bring their facilities up to competitive standards. They also need to set clear long-term goals and stop micro-managing fees and programs.
If they choose to continue running the golf operations as a recreational amenity, then they should review and budget the program alongside all of the other city recreational programs. If the "net cost" to the taxpayers is used as the litmus test for all of the parks and recreation programs, golf comes out on top. If community recreational benefits and needs are measured by age/lifetime activity factors; community lifestyle/business enhancements; and net cost to the taxpayers, golf surpasses all the other tax supported parks and recreational programs. Yes, golf is a better recreational value than city parks, soccer; baseball; recreation complexes; and even bike trails and nature paths!
Expecting golf to pay for itself and even turn a profit under the current management restrictions is bad business. Pioneer and Fairmont parks should be commercially subdivided long before Rose Park and Forest Dale golf courses are.
Salt Lake City
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