Arroyo Leads ABQ Muni Revenues, Los Altos Lags 0 7

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) Aug. 20, 2011 — A breakout of greens fees  and concessionaire revenues generated by the four Albuquerque municipal golf courses shows the 27-hole Arroyo  del Oso complex leading — no surprise for the region’s busiest golf facility.

What is surprising is that the 9-hole Puerto del Sol Golf Course is not far behind 27-hole Los Altos complex in non-greens fee concessionaire revenues — cart fees, range ball sales, pro shop merchandise sales, snack-bar revenues and other ancillary revenues, including banquet-room rentals and catering.

Puerto does not have a banquet room, only a stand-up microwave snack bar. Los Altos got a banquet room, plus a new kitchen and a spacious dining room, as part of it clubhouse renovation several years ago.

City figures show the struggling Ladera course handily outpaced Los Altos in concession sales by nearly 3-to-2 in both of the last two years.

The city gets all greens fees from rounds played, plus a portion of all other sales and rentals at its four municipal golf courses. So, the better the concessionaires perform, the bigger the city’s take, which is supposed to offset course maintenance costs, which recently have been run at a deficit.

Even more surprising, Ladera’s greens-fee revenues are only 19.5 percent behind those of Los Altos, even though Los Altos has been in good condition in recent years and Ladera was a wreck until only recently, when it experienced a turnaround with the arrival of a new superintendent..

The city keeps records by fiscal year. The fiscal year starts on July 1 of each year and ends on June 30 of the next year.

To see for yourself the rounds played, month by month and year to year, at all four facilities, plus green-fee revenues and golf concessionaire revenues for the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years, click here for a spreadsheet presented by the Albuquerque Parks and Recreation Department at the Aug.18 meeting of the Golf Advisory Board.

Partial city figures for last month, the first year of the current 2012 fiscal year, are contained in this spreadsheet.

— Dan Vukelich

In other news:

The Portland Sports Tribune calls 16-year-old Alexis Thompson the LPGA Tour’s next great hope for a superstar.

President’s Cup Captain Fred Couples could discredit the off-year alterative to the Ryder Cup if he picks Tiger Woods over PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, writes former Albuquerque Tribune sports writer Edgar Thompson, now covering the PGA Tur and NFL football for the Palm Beach Post.

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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 30

Sierra del Rio Golf Course

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, which restricted play in December to Thursday through Sunday only, will close for two months after the New Year.

The temporary closure of the 18-hole Elephant Butte golf course was announced in an email Sunday. The golf course’s food and beverage operation, also will close. Plans are to reopen on March 1, the course said.

“The course is in reasonably good condition but we want it to be in the best shape possible when we reopen,” a golf shop employee said Sunday. Maintenance crews will devote the downtime to earth and drainage work to repair damage to native areas off the playing surfaces caused by heavy rains in September, the employee said.

Sierra Del Rio, a Richard Phelps design, is the centerpiece of a retirement- and second-home community near the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. Its director of golf is Guy Wimberly, who retired to Elephant Butte after decades running Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque. Wimberly had no comment on the closure on Sunday.

Sierra Del Rio reduced playing days earlier this month. Winter is typically playable in Southern New Mexico, where daily highs reach into the 50s and 60s.

Sierra Del Rio is part of the Turtleback Mountain Resort. It opened in 2007 on the footprint of the old Oasis Golf Resort and is the nearest golf course to Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists to the edge of space.

The renovated course and new homes built near it provided a boost to the local economy, but homebuilding and rounds played suffered following the 2008 housing collapse.

Dan Vukelich is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com.