Why is 3-Crowns Golf Course Hemorrhaging Money?
The Amoco Reuse Joint Powers Board has the job of finding the best possible use for the land that was the old Amoco refinery site.
And in the early 2000's, they decided a golf course fit the bill, and for 15-million dollars, the 3 Crowns Golf Course was built. And it has been losing money, lots of money, ever since...an average of half a million dollars every year.
NBC TV sports Director Danny Elzner in Texas knows why.
Golf takes too long, and costs too much. And the golf audience is aging.
"They are just not growing the game," he says. "It's a dying sport. Where are the 20-year-old golfers? Where are the 30-year-old golfers."
Elzner point out that Dick's Sporting Goods has announced it is laying off all PGA Pros on it's staff, and sales of golf equipment are dropping like a stone.
He says that even in Augusta, Georgia, the home of the Masters, golf is dying.
"If you can't make money with golf in Augusta, for crying out loud, why are you building a course in Wyoming?"
Add to that the fact that unlike other parts of the country, golf here is not a year round sport.
" Are you playing golf in December in Casper? In January?" he asked.
Elzner told us that even in a private, country club setting, the golf course is used to sell the adjoining homes or highrises. Once the housing is sold, the golf course is on it's own, and is a money pit.
But a stand alone course like this one, doesn't have the benefit of desirable real estate to foot the bill.
So, rather than lose hundreds of thousands every year, what can the board do?
"The nice thing about a golf course," Elzner said, " is that if you finally admit you made a mistake, the land is cleared for future projects. It's easy to convert it to a park until you come up with another use for the land."
A group has been assigned to study the 3Crowns problem and a report is expected soon.