Ocala Golf Club might lease the facility’s banquet hall kitchen to a catering business as means of raising funds to support the course.
The city of Ocala, Fla., will explore getting a liquor license for the Ocala Golf Club and possibly leasing the facility’s banquet hall kitchen to a catering business as means of raising funds to support the course, reports Ocala.com.
At a workshop meeting, Kathy Crile, the city’s Director of Recreation and Parks, told the City Council that Ocala Golf Club is projected to lose $332,401 for the year ending Sept. 30. She said there are sufficient funds in the golf fund to cover this year’s projected losses but, after that, there will be no savings left in the account.
Operating revenues for the year are projected to be $1.18 million and operating expenses $1.24 million, for an operating loss of $87,396. The debt service, which is interest on the $2.7 million bond issue used to renovate the course, is estimated at $173,000, with non-department services costing $72,005.
The $2.3 million the golf fund received for selling the east nine holes at Pine Oaks Golf Course to the city’s water and sewer department for use as a reuse water spray field was used, largely, to cover losses at the two municipal golf courses and will be depleted this year. Pine Oaks currently is leased to a private operator.
To close the gap, Crile told the council that she has been able to negotiate a $35,000 reduction in the contract with Valley Crest, the firm that maintains Ocala Golf Club’s course, but only about $10,000 will be realized this year because it is a partial year.
She also is implementing programs, such as the “Golf University” for youth, as a way of growing the game.
The banquet hall currently earns about $30,000 a year. The city also earns money by selling sandwiches, hot dogs, beer and beverages in the snack shop. Crile asked if the council would consider selling liquor to golf course customers, not in an open bar.
Another suggestion Crile offered is that the city could provide catering services to people who rent the banquet hall. Currently, those who rent the hall bring in their own food or food service and bring in their own alcohol to consume but not to sell. However, Crile said that, if the city obtained a liquor license, if someone wished to have a cash bar at an event held in the banquet hall, the city would have to provide the bartender and sell the alcohol.
Crile told the council that the whole food and beverage service for the banquet hall, snack bar and course could be done either in-house or through a contractor, in which case, the contractor would need to provide the liquor license.