In a shortened season, Yampa Valley Golf Course is reporting decreased revenue from last year, but an increase in membership.
Jason Back, the interim course manager in 2010, said approximately 19,000 rounds were played this year, representing an 8-percent decrease in revenue from the year before.
Course membership, however, increased about 10 percent, Back said, with between 350 and 375 members throughout the summer.
Because of cold weather, Back said the course wasn’t able to be open as many days in the spring, which in turn affected the rounds that could be played.
Back also attributed most of the decrease in revenue to the economy.
“A lot of what affected our course was the economy,” he said. “Golf courses in general are catching it pretty hard recently.”
However, Back said Yampa Valley Golf Course is fortunate because neighboring golf courses such as the Rifle Creek Golf Course have revenues down about 30 percent from last year.
Compared to necessities, Back said golf is more for recreation, and is one of the first things to go when families are trying to cut back and save money.
“Many people are looking to pinch pennies and find things they can save money on,” Back said. “Golf, a lot of the times, is one of the first things to go because it is more of a luxury.”
Because of the short spring and down economy, Back said most of the money lost was in daily play.
“We lost a lot of Steamboat players who would come out here to play,” he said. “I don’t think they wanted to drive all the way out here and pay to play here.”
In 2010, the price for a Moffat County resident adult was $17 for nine holes and $25 for 18 holes.
Because of the cost to golf, Back said many players who come to the Yampa Valley Golf Course and play regularly stepped up this year and paid for a membership.
“Instead of paying the walk-on green fees, some of the players who came here often bought a membership for the course,” Back said. “It is a better deal for those players who play a lot.”
An association membership fee for a Moffat County resident in 2010 was $950.
To try and bring in more casual players next year, Back said the Yampa Valley Golf Association board has discussed extending the twilight special, which gives golfers a reduced rate after 2 p.m., from one day a week to every Monday through Wednesday.
“There is some time before the season starts up, and there are some ideas that are floating around that could help next year,” he said.
Joshua Gordon can be reached at 875-1795 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.