Council writes off Revelstoke Golf Club debt

Revelstoke Golf Club has been given a clean slate after owing over $43,000 in rental fees to the city, but it will have to lift its game once a task force is installed to improve the facility and boost visitor numbers.

Revelstoke Golf Club will have to change its methods to boost visitor numbers and reduce debt. Photo: From the Revelstoke Golf Club.

The Revelstoke Golf Club’s application to the Revelstoke City Council to waive its overdue fees of about $43,000 was passed in council, but it was with a few reservations from councillors.

The fees are accumulated rent over the past three years that the club has been unable to pay. At their February 24 meeting, council decided to set up a task force to deal with aging infrastructure and declining visitor number problems and get it back up on its feet.

There was debate at the meeting and Councillor Linda Nixon gained a revision of a original plan to waive rent fees in the future, bringing it back to just two years.

She was also originally wary about relieving the outstanding debt.

The Revelstoke Golf Club has a history going back about 80 years, but the aging clubhouse needs maintenance work. Photo: From
The Revelstoke Golf Club has a history going back about 80 years, but the aging clubhouse needs maintenance work. Photo: From

“I would rather see that we defer their outstanding rent, I think the task force is really going to help the golf course and in six months or a year we can see how they are doing and they can up with a plan to repay the citizens of Revelstoke,” she said.

Mayor Mark McKee was vocal in giving the golf course a clean slate and moving them towards operating like a business.

“I think putting together a task force is a best thing. It think the golf course has to be put into a sustainable position where it’s not off the back of the community,” he said.

“It should be drawing the tourists off the highway and getting the tourists to stay here longer. I don’t see any point burdening them with a lease that they can’t pay.”

Council voted in favour of creating a task force and council will appoint nine members with voting powers. The committee will look at creating a ten-year plan for the club including ways to fund upgrades to the clubhouse without burdening the taxpayer.

A staff report is expected in the coming several weeks on any more immediate repairs needed to the clubhouse facility.

The city will advertise for people interested in taking part on the task force.

The golf club also wanted a new lease, which eliminated all future rental obligation, though council only moved on this for the next two years.

Previous stories: Revelstoke Golf Club fee waiver proposed

What do you think? Was it the right move to help a Revelstoke institution out during hard times? Or was council too quick with a handout that will come out of taxpayers’ pockets? Out of the many options available, is forming a task force the right direction? Or did they hit this one into the rough?