Aug 24, 2022 - News

Denver looks to increase its golf course fees

A man prepares to swing a golf club while two other man watch during a sunny but hazy day at a golf course.
Golfers tee off from City Park Golf Course in September 2021. Photo: AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Denver residents may soon pay more for rounds of golf at the city's eight courses.

Driving the news: A Denver City Council committee voted last week to push a bill to increase fees across several areas in the city's parks and rec department, including forestry, event facilities, athletic permitting and recreation programs.

  • Parks staff told council members that the fees for the city's public golf courses are increasing due to higher costs of maintaining the grounds.

By the numbers: Under the proposal, rates would increase by $5 for adults at the city's 9- and 18-hole courses.

  • If approved, weekday rates for 9-hole courses for adults would jump from $24 to $29, and $44 to $49 for 18-hole courses.
  • Weekend rates for 9-hole courses would increase from $29 to $33, while 18-hole courses would go from $55 to $60.

Of note: The additional money β€” projected to total $2 million annually β€” generated by the fees would go toward maintaining the courses and not the parks department's overall budget, according to spokesperson Cyndi Karvaski.

  • She said the city's golfing program will pay for itself once the new fees kick in.
  • The parks department has an annual overall budget of about $142 million, which comes from several sources, including $83 million from the city's General Fund.
  • Karvaski noted that money from the golf course fees is different from the voter-approved bond package that will pay for dozens of city plans, including $54 million for parks department projects.

Between the lines: Facility rentals for event-hosting sites, including Chief Hosa Lodge and City Park Pavilion, would see rate hikes, while athletic field rentals would get a bump as well.

What they're saying: Special projects manager for Denver parks Alaina McWhorter said most impacted areas β€” including fees for athletic permitting, camping and boating, mountain parks, outdoor recreation and recreation programs β€” have fees that have gone unmodified since 2009.

  • McWhorter recently told council members that the increases are "modest," and will help enact the department's larger vision to make parks and gathering places more easily accessible and maintained.

What's next: Denver City Council will take a final vote on the fees on Sept. 12.

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