Bryan Park - Answers Please??

I have some questions about the contract that the City of Greensboro renewed with Bryan Park Golf LLC for maintenance of the Bryan Park Complex for an additional three years. According to the information I got at the council meeting last night the city will continue to contribute $125,000 annually toward the complex's operation,. The city's contribution will be used for capital improvements only.

The Inside Scoop blog wrote: "The city had spent between $300,000 and $800,000 annually on the complex's operations before reaching the agreement with Bryan Park Golf LLC, City Manager Mitch Johnson said."

I have been told that the green fees and facility rental fees have increased since BPG LLC took over maintenance of the Complex and I think that I have read that if one has an event there no outside company can provide catering for food or drink. Is this information correct?

Another question concerns the net operating cost to the City of Greensboro. Was the total cost to the city of operating the Bryan Park Complex between $300,000 and $800,000 a year, after any income received from operations?

Also, there was a request to the Greensboro City Council during budget negotiations to pay for some work on the grass around some of the golf holes. I think that the council did not include that amount in the current budget. Is grounds work considered a capital improvement?

I am not questioning the wisdom of the decision to sub-out the maintenance, just trying to clear up some questions that I have about the details. I did not get a copy of the additional information packet last night, so there might have been an explanation in it.

Will someone who understands better than I, please explain it to me. I'm just curious. Thank you in advance for an explanation.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Diane, I had some questions too. What are the greens fees at Bryan Park and where does that money go? Might the greens fees be raised to cover costs of maintaining the golf course? What about the fees for special events, where do they go?

TheShu said...

What's this? The city is supporting a public facility that is only being used by a priviledged few? How dare they?

Where's the public outrage over this? Why does the coliseum get all the press and not this?

diane said...

One of my concerns is that Bryan Park doesn't become a city owned "country club for the rich."

Except that the land was donated to Greensboro, I know very little about facillity cost and cost of maintenance.

I'm just looking for answers.

Anonymous said...

Sue, I notice that no "city officials" have logged in with answers yet. I wonder why? After reading only 3 blogs so far today I have read comments by two officials on other blogs; but none to your questions. Perhaps there are no GOOD answers, do you think!? Brenda Bowers

Sandy Carmany said...

Diane,

I saw this post days ago and intended to respond, but have been extremely busy with other matters and could not get to it. So now I'm foregoing doing my housework to try to provide a few answers (hard choice -- NOT!). This is going to be a long one!


First of all, everyone should understand that NO city park or recreation center or swimming pool, etc. makes a profit. Public recreation facilities are an amenity that citizens want and have been willing to subsidize through the years.

Bryan Park is a city-owned facility with the golf-course operations being managed by a private company under a contract with the city. As you correctly stated, the city previously lost between $300-800,000 a year on its maintenance and operation (that fact has never drawn the amount of public scrutiny and criticism that the coliseum always does). Yes, that was the remaining deficit above and beyond all the income received from fees and operations.

Under this private contract, the city's operating losses are now "capped" at $125,000 per year -- the fee we pay to Bryan Park Golf LLC -- and any other losses must be covered by that private company. With the new contract, council directed that the $125,000 fee be used for capital improvements only (ground work, improvement of greens, constuction of shelters or other amenities, etc.).The private company now has to cover 100% of the operating costs except for some routine building maintenace the city is responsible for. Since the city still owns the facility, we are indeed still responsible for paying for capital improvements there; the change in the contract directs $125,000 a year toward those improvements instead of into operating costs.

Here's the web address where the rental fees are listed -

http://www.bryanpark.com/golfrates.html.

I'm not a golfer so I don't have a clue as to how they compare with other courses. I don't know if the greens and rental fees have increased, but would not be surprised if they had. Due to rising costs, I expect this is true at most golf courses in the area, not just this one. I do know that every effort is made to keep the fees in line with other area courses so they won't price themselves out of the market.

Here's the link to the city budget page for this operation --

http://www.greensboro-nc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/81BBBA9A-E4C3-4833-B9B9-AF1629937266/0/BryanParkGolfEnterpriseFund.pdf


Even when the facility was being fully managed by the city, outside caterers did not have the ability to provide food and drink there except under special cirumstances. I remember that controversy well -- the city was experiencing tremendous problems with some outside caterers who did not clean up appropriately and left big messes there. The decision was made to restrict catering options to one city-approved caterer; at one time, that was Centerplate, but I don't know if that is true now.


I hope this helps a little bit!

Patrick Eakes said...

The greens fee and cart fee did increase with the management company, but they are still priced reasonably in this market.

The food and beverage costs went up a good bit with the management company. A sandwich, chips, and soda cost at least as much at BP as at a private club.

BP is in absolutely no danger of becoming a city-owned country club for the rich. Serious golfers who can afford it join clubs to avoid the overcrowded conditions that exist frequently at BP. That was one reason I left my weekly game at BP and joined Sedgefield.

To their credit, the management company replaced the greens superintendent, and the results were dramatic. The conditions on the Champions course have been as fine as any course within 50 miles for at least a year.

It seems like a win-win for the city and its citizens. The losses are reduced and capped for the tax payers, and the value for the dollar have gone up.

diane said...

Sandy and Patrick,

Thanks for that info.