State parks officials have tallied up the economic impact from its state park golf courses, and the news is good. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, the Department of Parks enjoyed a net income (revenue minus expenses) of $227,000 for all its courses. This compares to a net loss of $169,000 for the previous fiscal year, noted Parks Commissioner George Ward.
Four new courses came on-line last year. Three courses took in more in receipts than in expenses in their first fiscal year of operation.
Hidden Cove Golf Course at Grayson Lake had revenues that exceeded expenses by $243,000. Next in line was the course at Mineral Mound, where receipts exceeded expenses by $74,000. Dale Hollow Lake Resort’s course turned a $62,000 “profit.”
Only at Yatesville Lake’s Eagle Ridge Course did expenses exceed income. That course opened later in the year than the others, and was closed in the winter to protect its new turf, Ward noted. Eagle Ridge operated at a loss of $265,000, since it incurred expenses for maintaining the course even when it was closed for the winter. The economic outlook is expected to improve at Yatesville with a full year of operation this year, he added.
The Department of Parks is moving aggressively to capitalize on the success of golf, Ward said.
The department has branded six prominent courses as the “Signature Series” of premiere state park courses. The six are the four new courses, plus the Kentucky Dam Village State Resort golf course and Wasioto Winds at Pine Mountain State Resort. The “Signature Series” is being promoted in advertising aimed at golfers.
The department also has developed a “Tee’s and Zee’s” package that provides golf rounds, cart rental, overnight accommodations, and meals, all for one price. The package is being advertised to out-of-state golfers.
Attracting more golf revenue will be one way to chop away at the state park system’s $29 million operating deficit, Ward said.
“I’m confident that golf courses are going to grow as an important revenue source,” Ward said. “We intend to reap the benefits of an outstanding network of golf courses.”