I’ve been writing about the city’s decision to target Columbia Hospitality — a company with no golf course management experience — as the potential manager of Gold Mountain Golf Club. I still can’t get my head around the thinking on this issue.
I’ve advocated opening up the bid process to see what kind of interest the city might get.
Our editorial board backed me up on this one.
Mayor Patty Lent called and said that opening up the bidding process wasn’t practical because “we wouldn’t know what we wanted for someone to come in and manage that … we didn’t have a clue what we could make as revenue.”
She said the city was “still crunching numbers to see what the revenue is.”
That’s interesting because I’m pretty sure Scott Alexander, the director of golf for the last 28 years, turns in his golf shop numbers and restaurant numbers every single year. “All purchases at the golf course are receipted and part of the public record,” wrote an interested party in an email. ” Carts, rounds, driving range, equipment, food, etc. Any professional golf company can figure things out from there.”
The city, which receives all of the green fees generated at Gold Mountain, didn’t find out last week that Alexander’s stepping down at the end of the year. He announced his decision in May, partly to give the city time to get its you-know-what together.
Meanwhile, looks what’s scheduled to be discussed at Wednesday’s 5 p.m. City Council Study Session: Resolution authorizing a sole source contract with Columbia Hospitality, Inc. for management of the Gold Mountain Golf Club — Becky Hasart, Financial Services Director.
The Study Session is open to the public (Council Conference Room 603 at the Norm Dicks Building) but there will be no opportunity for input or participation. If the resolution is approved, it will be included on the Sept, 19 Council meeting agenda.
The city’s moving fast on this. If you believe the mayor, the city doesn’t know the value of their greatest asset, one of the best 36-hole municipal golf facilities in the country. But they’re ready to hand over the reins to a company that has absolutely zero experience running a golf course.
I wish someone would tell me what I’m missing, because I still don’t get it.