City Hall Proposes $2 Greens Fee Increase, Says ABQ’s Muni Courses Must Pay for Themselves 1

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) March 22, 2012 — Mayor Richard Berry told the city Golf Advisory Board that Albuquerque’s municipal golf courses must pay for themselves, and his chief operating officer said that will require an average $2 increase per round.

The increase being proposed by the administration affects all classes of greens fees and includes hefty increases in the prices of various kinds of annual golf passes for all ages. The average 18-hole round would go to $24.50 on weekdays and $31 on weekends. An annual pass would increase by $132 to $1,566, a 9 percent increase. A senior pass would go to $1,132, a 13 percent increase.

The proposed rates outlined by Chief Operating Officer John Soladay do not require City Council approval and could go into effect once aired in a public hearing and approved by Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry. “We’re looking at a $2 across-the-board increase,” he told the advisory board at a meeting at Ladera Golf Course.

Soladay said analysis of city revenues and costs shows that Albuquerque loses about $1.78 a round at current rates. It currently books 250,000 rounds a year across 90 holes of muni golf at four facilities. Citywide, that amounts to a $201,000 annual operating shortfall and does not allow the city to set aside about $250,000 a year needed to replace failing maintenance equipment.

The mayor, in remarks before Soladay delivered the financial details, said the golf courses are supposed to be self-sufficient, but over the years they have built up about $500,000 a year in debt that should be borne by the users.

— Dan Vukelich

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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at

1 Comment

  1. Why do we as golfers and taxpayers have to be responsible for making the golf courses pay for themselves when other city recreational facilities are wholly subsidized by the taxpayers? (tennis courts, roller blade and skate board parks, bike trails, family parks)
    To the best of my knowledge, there are no user fees for those facilities.

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