Pending one more city council vote, Florida-based firm Pope Golf will take over management of the course for the next seven years and will pay the city rent based in part on course revenue. The proposed agreement will cap fees for two years and could see 10 employee layoffs.
Florida-based Pope Golf will take over operations of Asheville (N.C.) Municipal Golf Course on October 1 pending the city council’s approval, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
The private firm will manage the course for the next seven years if the council approves the second part of the agreement with Pope. City government had been subsidizing operations of the course for several years and city staffers hope the agreement will mean the quality of the course will be maintained. Pope will pay the city rent based in part on course revenue, the Citizen-Times reported.
A proposed management agreement states that course fees will be capped for the next two years. After that period, they would be allowed to rise no faster than the consumer price index for the Southeast.
The city would lay off 10 employees, though a staff report says Pope typically hires existing employees when it takes over a course. The council and city residents are reluctant to see the city stop managing the course, the Citizen-Times reported.
“It belongs to Asheville,” said Aubrey Strader. “Why do we have to go out of town to hire somebody to look after our own asset?”
Others see the deal as the best option, since the city does not have a good record of running the course on its own, the Citizen-Times reported.
“I would like to see the city keep it, but I think the best thing is for Pope to come in,” said Brenda Dunlap.
The city will retain ownership of the course, the Citizen-Times reported.information