Deer Park golf fees inch higher in 2021

Yorkton Council approved the fees for Deer Park Municipal Golf Course for 2021, at its regular meeting.

The increase is three per cent across the board although may vary slightly, explained Darcy McLeod - Director of Community Development, Parks and Recreation, with the City.

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“The increase in some fees may be more or less than the three per cent increase due the actualdollar value being small and/or because fees are rounded for ease of communication,” he said.

The season pass fee for an adult will be $1290 in 2021, with the spousal rate at $775.

A Junior pass is $110.

The adult green fee for 18 holes between 6 a.m. and 12:59 p.m. is $46.

In making the presentation McLeod noted; Deer Park is owned by the residents and taxpayers (the owners) of the municipality with the primary purpose to:

*Provide recreational opportunities to improve the quality of life for people in the community;

*Provide opportunities for tourism; and

*Attract industry and business to locate in the community

In that regard; “Municipalities are considered stewards of public lands on behalf of the owners (taxpayers and residents), therefore a golf course is considered good use of public lands to ensure public green space remains accessible to the public,” he said.

Municipally owned golf courses are public lands and it is the responsibility of the municipality to ensure:

*That the owner’s (taxpayers and residents) investment in the land and buildings is maintained;

*That the best interest of the ownership group is maintained (the primary purposes previously stated); and

*That the public lands remain public lands, and are available for use by the ownership group.

In addition, Administration’s current direction isto operate the Deer Park Golf course as a community recreation facility similar to other sport, culture and recreation facilities that are typically provided by municipalities, such as ice arenas, swimming pools, libraries, art galleries, ball diamonds, soccer pitches, playgrounds, etc.

“Therefore, the golf course is provided similar investment to ensure golf remains a publicly available recreation activity,” said McLeod.

“Ultimately, the success of a golf course is dependent on a number of factors including weather, course condition, service and cost,” he added.

The area’s market has the most significant impact on the success of the golf course. This includes:

*The community’s ability/willingness to pay;

*Other competing entertainment options;

*The number and condition ofcourses in the area; and

*Maintaining affordability vs. recovering appropriate level of costs.

“It is important to balance the cost of participation with the community's ability to pay. Recognizing this balance along with the need to staycompetitive with similar courses is key to the success of Deer Park. Maintaining fees in the mid-range of similar courses will ensure a balance between the community's ability to pay, and remaining competitive in the golf industry. This will also assist with attracting new golfers to the course, as cost is a significant determining factor on where people choose to spend their time and money,” said McLeod.

“The pricing for golf at Deer Park Municipal Golf Course is aimed to be in the mid-range of other similar golf courses in the Province.”

While COVID-19 did impact the course, some of the changes were actually positive, in particular the time allowed between tee-off times, noted McLeod.

“Under normal circumstancesthe industry standard was a 7-minute gap between tee-off times. Under the COVID-19 restrictions golf courses were required to place a 12-minute gap between tee times. Because this was so well received by the golfing public, and because the demand at Deer park can accommodate this, we plan to retain this 12-minute gap for all tee times, as long as it still meets the golfing COVID-19 restrictions, which have yet to be announced for 2021,” he said.

The numbers also inched up through the pandemic.

The total number of rounds played in 2020 increased slightly from 18,057 in 2019 to 18,718 in 2020.

“These numbers can be attributed to people needing to stay close to home during their leisure time with travel restrictions in place. The reduction in season pass sales is attributed to the unknown factor of whether or not the golf course would be closed down as part of the ever-changing COVID-19 restrictions,” offered McLeod.

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