Projections: Watertown Golf Club would lose $300K within 2 years

Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 4:23 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - We’re getting our first look at the operating budget for the Watertown Golf Club.

Newly owned by the city, a business plan was released by City Manager Ken Mix showing how much money the course will make and how much it’ll spend.

From course fees to new hires, the projected operating budget for the Watertown Golf Club lays it all out.

“We’ve researched what other golf courses do. We’ve gathered information that we could on the past operation up there to put together our best thoughts on what it would cost to operate it,” said Mix.

The projections cover two fiscal years, spanning about a year-and-a-half of operation. The city’s fiscal calendar runs from July to June.

For the first fiscal year from opening until the end of June, expenses will total nearly $305,000 with $164,000 in revenue.

That means a projected loss of $141,000.

Then, for a full year of being open, the projected expenses are nearly $600,000 with revenue reaching $440,000. That’s $150,000 in the red.

To make up for the combined $300,000 loss, the city would dip into its savings.

But the business plan is missing one thing and it would add revenue to the city. It’s food and drink. The city needs a private vendor to take on the job.

“We won’t be getting any direct revenues. All we’ll be getting is a fee for the concession rights up there,” said Mix.

Mayor Jeff Smith believes the business plan isn’t showing the full picture. Even though it’s a $3.4 million cash deal, Smith believes the plan should reflect how long it’ll take for the city to recoup the initial investment.

“Taxpayers fronted the money and if you’re going to show profit and loss, you have to pay back your initial investment,” he said.

Although not everybody on the city council sees it that way.

Mix says the city will be accepting requests for proposals for concessions until March 2.