Claremore Daily Progress

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Government

June 26, 2013

Golf course financial future could be a bit over par

CLAREMORE —

The financial health of Heritage Hills Golf Course will be discussed during a Rogers County Public Facilities Authority meeting at 3 p.m. Thursday in the commissioner’s meeting room in the courthouse.
The Public Facilities Authority is a trust that operates the golf course  in Claremore.
The board met  in April and May to discuss an ongoing issue with the finances of the trust as the golf course continues to operate at a yearly loss, according to Course Manager Dave Wilbur.
The loss is due to the depreciation of assets, not incoming cash flow, he added.
The number of golfers playing the course is on decline, partially due to weather, according to reports.
Former course participants contribute the decline to a decrease in operating hours and services offered to players.
The discussion has been prompted due to the golf course’s decline in revenue as trust members reported a concern in April for the long-term feasibility of operations.
The trustees recently approved the refinance of bank loans, secured by course assets to decrease monthly expenses.
The trust is currently in debt for approximately $500,000 that has been incurred to make capital improvements and purchase equipment, according to Wilbur.
A 2009 appraisal values the golf course at approximately $3.5 million.
Operating with a low debt and high asset value, the financial health of the trust appears to be good.
Wilbur previously stated he was unsure if the course would be operating in the next five years.
However, in an interview with the Claremore Daily Progress, he clarified the remarks.
It is not that the course will be out of business in five years, it will be if the course can generate enough income for improvements, Wilbur said.
The trust has been borrowing money to overcome a decline in revenue and to meet improvement expenses, he added.

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