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Value of Calgary’s city-owned golf courses to be examined by councillors

WATCH: Calgary council members will be examining the value of city-owned golf courses on Tuesday. As Doug Vaessen reports, members of the finance committee will be presented with a briefing.

Calgary councillors will assess the value of city-owned golf courses on Tuesday when a briefing is presented to members of the finance committee.

The City of Calgary owns six golf courses and has been examining their profitability throughout the year.

Already, councillors voted to close Richmond Green Golf Course at the end of the 2019 season after a report from city administrators determined it wasn’t financially viable.

READ MORE: Calgary council votes 12-1 to close Richmond Green Golf Course at end of season

The future of the remaining golf courses now hangs in the balance, and Ward 1 Coun. Ward Sutherland said the question remains if the city should own any courses at all.

“Should we even be in the business? And if we’re in the business, who should be delivering the service?” Sutherland asked. “I don’t think necessarily we are going to get out of it, but what does that mean? Do we have to have, say, seven courses? Maybe we have four courses — one in each quadrant?”

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Ward said right now the deficit the city is facing due to their golf course ownership sits at around $2 million, and city courses don’t pay taxes like private courses do, so if that were ever to change the loss would grow.

“The main thing is we can’t lose money, we can’t bleed from it,” he added. “We are going to have to make changes.”

The City of Calgary owns six golf courses:

  • Confederation Park (N.W.) – Nine holes
  • Lakeview (S.W.) – Nine holes
  • Maple Ridge (S.W.) – 18 holes
  • McCall Lake (N.E.) – Both 18 holes and nine holes
  • Richmond Green (S.W.) – Nine holes
  • Shaganappi Point (S.W.) – Both 18 holes and nine holes

READ MORE: City of Calgary assessing public golf courses for possible tax dollar savings

Ward said the City of Calgary is looking into whether or not the front section of Richmond Green Golf Course could be used for any development opportunities.

“Then we could use the profits of selling that land to develop the recreational part for the community,” he explained.

Ward said community engagement would be needed prior to any redevelopment.

“We still have to go through these moving parts before we make the decision — and we’re going to have to make that decision by budget time,” he added.

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– With files from Doug Vaessen