Carson City’s Eagle Valley doing well; rate hike could come in April | NevadaAppeal.com

Carson City’s Eagle Valley doing well; rate hike could come in April

John Barrette
jbarrette@nevadaappeal.com

A rate hike for golf rounds at Eagle Valley’s municipal courses could come in April, according to Jim Kepler, general manager at the 36-hole Carson City complex.

Kepler divulged it could be about 4 percent or more while appearing at the Board of Supervisors to report Thursday on matters at the Municipal Golf Corporation. He said things solidified during the past 18 months. He also said in accordance with an Moss Adams LLC internal audit recommendation, complimentary rounds are down.

“We’ve been cutting back,” Kepler said. The written part of his report showed last year there were 58,333 rounds for which something was earned and 3,670 complimentary rounds, an overall total of 60,003. Of the paid rounds, 16,780 were in essence full price and accounted for a quarter of the revenue.

Another 11,940 rounds were of the punch or pass variety, accounting for 21 percent of revenue, while 50-Club rounds totaled 16,857 or 29 percent of revenues, and tournament rounds reached 10,645 for 21 percent of revenue, Kepler reported. An additional 4 percent of revenue came from cart fees. The 50 Club provides a price break and club involvement for people within 50 miles of the complex who join it.

Kepler told the board the rate hike decision must come in light of the fact golf at the complex no longer charges the least, though Eagle Valley used to be lowest in the area.

“The problem with golf right now is we have too many courses, not enough golfers,” he said. At one time in prior years, Eagle Valley rounds reached 110,000 a year.

But he also said with things going well and adjusted city lease payments, the municipal complex operated by a non-profit board on city government’s behalf is looking sound for now.

“It’s been a pretty good 18 months,” he said, noting last winter’s weather allowed for significantly more golf outings than a year earlier.

For example, he said, last January there were 3,300 but just a handful a year earlier.

Kepler said the lease agreement, which calls for the complex to pay 6 percent of the take monthly in perpetuity, is being honored.

During a follow-up call Friday, Kepler told the Nevada Appeal the city in 2014 received about $104,000 in lease payments. He said receipts had been about $1.7 million for the complex.

Under previous pacts between the complex’s corporation and the city, during the recession, the complex had fallen markedly behind on lease payments but Kepler said things work better now.

“We think it’s a great deal for us, a great deal for you guys,” said Kepler. “We’ve made every single payment.”

Supervisor Lori Bagwell, the new supervisor assigned liaison membership on the golf corporation’s governing unit, indicated she will be actively involved. She said she looks forward to helping the corporation update financial sourcing in future reports. Kepler welcomed her aboard.

Kepler also fielded a question from Supervisor Brad Bonkowski about past and expected use of city effluent water. The question stemmed from continued drought.

Kepler said last year, not knowing city government would supplement the wastewater effluent with fresh water to keep courses green, he stopped watering 18 acres on the east side and 10 acres on the west course. He wasn’t specific regarding this year. “We’re prepared to do whatever we can,” he said. “We just used what (water) we needed” in 2014.

Chris Carver, a resident of Silver Oak — which means his home is on or near that competing private sector course — testified he wanted more information. He sought information on pay of employees at Eagle Valley.

The board got a letter of support for the complex. Carson City’s Douglas Sever, a golfer. said Eagle Valley offers “recreational services for the playing public with competitive but affordable rates.”