Craig Members and occasional players could be looking at paying more to golf at Yampa Valley Golf Course in 2014.
The Yampa Valley Golf Association Board of Directors held its annual meeting Tuesday and introduced the newest board members, along with discussing what needs to change at the course in the coming years.
The Craig golf course had nine people up for three open seats on the board that hold a three-year term. The three went to new board members Rick Holford, Brett Etzler and Ken Harjes, who will replace Mary Nelson, Bud Bower and Jim Showalter.
The new members then were introduced quickly to the challenges they will face during their time. The course’s financial struggles continued in 2013, as the $410,000 it saw in revenue was down $30,000 from a year ago.
Most of that drop can be attributed to 2012’s golf season in Craig getting an earlier start and a later finish, almost through the end of November. But the bigger issue once again was that the course spent more than it brought in.
If that continues to be the case, "five years from now, we won’t be golfing,” board member Joe Padon said. “We’re not going in the right direction.”
The financial difficulties come at a bad time for the golf course, which has a long wishlist of updates and improvements they would like to make at the restaurant, grounds and pro shop.
“There are lots of upgrades to this building that are needed,” Gary Baysinger, owner of the Tin Cup Grill, which partners with the golf course, said in his report. “I’d like to see a level of commitment to this place from this board.”
Baysinger is in the last year of his contract with the course.
Cost-cutting measures were discussed, but one of the big ways to increase revenues would be a small raising of the course rates, including annual memberships, daily rates and special deals like the Double Eagle pass that was popular among out-of-town players this year.
Membership dues were down to $85,000 from $91,000 in 2012, according to the budget numbers.
The board also discussed the hiring of a new head golf professional, one of the major priorities going forward. They have spoken with the PGA, and the process will begin in earnest starting next week, while more courses close and prospective pros are more available.
They praised former pro David Hardison’s push for children’s golf during the summer, citing that as a key going forward.
“The kids thing is so important because you need people out here,” Holford said. “That’s the future.”
Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@CraigDailyPress.com.