Winnipeg wants out of the golf business, lobbies citizens for support

Winnipeg wants out of the golf business, lobbies citizens for support



Golf courses cost money to operate. Duh. For some cities, running their munis come with a financial loss.

Winnipeg, in the province of Manitoba in Canada, is one of those cities losing money on their golf courses. So, they've decided they want out of the golf-course business, leasing out those properties to be run by a private company. And they're lobbying their own people to support the move.

The city has created advertising and an online campaign, called Responsible Winnipeg, to garner support for their plan. The website includes myriad imagery and infographics with the city's talking points. It's unclear who is paying for the campaign.



The city owns five courses and is recommending that Ontario-based GolfNorth run four of them via a 20-year lease. Officials say the city is losing $850,000 per year running the quartet of courses. GolfNorth would pay the city in upwards of $150,000 per year to run the courses in exchange for the rights to keep almost all of the profit it makes from operations.

One of the courses, Harbour View, has been managed since 1982 by local company Lakeland Golf Management. John Blumberg Golf Course would be sold under the plan put forth by the city.

Mayor Sam Katz says he feels it's important his constituents know precisely the cost of running golf courses.

"Sharing with everybody that there's an $8.4 million dollar accumulated deficit as comes from our financial statement, and what's ongoing and the opportunities that exist," Katz said, according to CJOB radio.

A vote for approval of the plan will come on May 29.



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