- UPDATE 5/1/21 – We continue to press forward. The council is fully behind making Quail Crossing the course it once was and through the work of Michelle Johnson and the financial commitment from the Council, the City has hired Tom Harmons. Please go to the following link on the City Website to read more about Tom. We look forward to seeing the great improvement that Tom will undoubtedly bring to the course. City of Boonville Hires Tom Harmons as Golf Course Superintendent
- UPDATE 3/15/21 – This issue is still the one that is requiring the most work and is still controversial. So, let me put this out there…..the City owns the course and I am committed to making sure that, one way or the other, this course does not fail. All of the issues listed in the 10/2019 section are still viable alternatives, but option 1 is the route we are committed to at this time.
- This is not as bad as it sounds. We did attempt to work out an agreement with an outside company, but were not able to come to an agreement where both parties felt comfortable. The good thing that came out of this is that the City Council has a renewed vigor to give Quail a fighting chance with money and hopefully a full time superintendent. The Quail finances are better than most people expected them to be, so the cost to the taxpayer is much smaller than even I thought it would be.
- We have a 3-4 year plan that we think will work, but we will re-evaluate on an annual basis and will make small or large adjustments as necessary.
- I am a golfer and I loved Quail in its heyday. I am hoping to help the Quail staff bring this Pearl back. The staff and grounds crew at Quail is extremely hard working and with the right superintendent, I think we will have that final piece to the puzzle.
Since before the City of Boonville purchased Quail Crossing Golf Course, it had struggled or failed to maintain its status as a premier public course. The City was warned about this going in but chose to move forward. Since the fall of 2017 it has become apparent that despite promises to the contrary, the City does not have the finances to repair or maintain the golf course in the condition that the public or residents expect. There are at least three ways out of this predicament:
- Fully fund the golf course at taxpayer and/or Quail Community expense
- The course would be brought up to appropriate standards
- Theoretically play would increase delivering more capital that could be used to maintain the course and rely less on taxpayer subsidy. In 2018, not including outings, there were between 3000 and 4000 rounds of golf played. With a quality course, Quail has the potential to draw 15,000 plus.
- To do this right the city would have to come up with around $500,000 dollars and shut the course down for several months.
- To raise the capital, there are a couple of primary options:
- Pre-sell 5-10 year memberships at a cost to be determined
- Issue or refund the current bond at a higher level
- A combination of both
- Obviously, there is a cost to the taxpayer and/or the golfing community
- Lease the course
- Leasing the course provides a steady income stream that the city can use to pay down the current bond.
- The responsibility for operating and maintaining the course goes to the leasing company but the City maintains ownership
- Finding a company or group that is willing to take on this project. We do not want to get into another situation where those responsible are running the course into the ground.
- The City may still have to put up some capital to entice a group to lease the course due to the current course condition.
- Sell the course
- The City gets out from under the mounting debt almost immediately and the responsibility for the course is passed on to the new owners.
- Quail has been down this road before so new owners would have to be carefully vetted and give assurances to the City that the course would be maintained in a proper manner
- The City may still have to spend some money to help with initial improvements to recruit a serious buyer.
I have also read the 120+ page golf course analysis released last month by the City of Evansville. There are several voids identified that Quail Crossing Golf Course (QCGC)could fill. For example, Evansville does not own a driving range or have a golf teaching facility. With the proper personnel, QCGC could fill that void, bring younger players in and start to build a base of return players…..of all ages. It is this type of forward thinking that could help bring Quail back to prominence.
As this issue is debated, opinions will vary but failure to do something will continually drain the City of funds that are needed elsewhere.