The Rhinelander Golf Course Advisory committee has followed the recommendations of a consultant and City Administrator Keith Kost to make changes at the city-owned and financially-strapped Northwood Golf Club.
The city has incurred a deficit of more than $1 million dollars from club shortfalls and is seeking a new path
. Committee members agreed to forward a recommendation by Administrator Keith Kost. He said the golf club can't keep doing what it has been doing as revenues and long-term memberships have been dropping.
Kost said two other options include hiring a manager or management company or to see a new owner..
"....it's time to do something different. The city doesn't have the ability to run this golf course. You need to either hire a management company to run the course or a full-time manager to run the course to get the numbers looking better then attempt to sell the course...."
Kost said this year's loss alone was $241,000. Kost said the course is an asset to the area regardless if the city or someone else owns it. Consulting firm Green Golf Partners recommended terminating the employment of golf course pro Dan Buckley and Mulligan's bar manager David O'Melia. The recommendation in the report was to retain course superintendent Joe Anderson.
The firm said the demographics of golf have changed and there are far fewer potential customers than were available more than two decades ago when the course opened.
Mayor Dick Johns and council member Alex Young both said something had to change.
Only council member Steve Sauer voted against sending Kost's recommendations to the full council. The committee voted to send Kost's main recommendation to look for an outside manager or firm to run the course to the full city council.