We never promised you a rose garden with 10-1. We did promise you a CHANCE to take back your city. Last November, the outgoing Austin City Council declined to vote on the plan to lease 735 acres of public park land to private interests for two high-end golf courses until the year 2105 — for 90-years! The deal is back and masquerading as economic development for a sport whose public participation is plummeting and whose water requirements belie the realities of our drought of record. “We’re in a historic drought like we’ve never seen in our lifetimes,” LCRA General Manager Phil Wilson said in a prepared statement. It’s likely to be postponed from Thursday’s Council Agenda but will come back to you real soon. Read Brian’s request for postponement and get ready, folks!
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- The 10-1 council has yet to be briefed on this very contentious proposal.
- There is a big addendum in the works that none of us have seen which shouldn’t be sprung on us last minute.
- The project is being sold as economic development. Wait until after the 10-1 policy workshop on economic development March 2nd.
- Thursday’s meeting is closed to public comment? Why doesn’t the City Manager want you to hear from the public?
- An alienation of public parkland requires a vote of the public. Put it to a public vote
41.Authorize negotiation and execution of a 50-year license agreement with DECKER LAKE GOLF, LLC to provide funding, design, development, management, and maintenance services for a golf course at Walter E. Long Metropolitan Park. (THE PUBLIC COMMENT FOR THIS ITEM WAS HELD AND CLOSED ON NOVEMBER 20, 2014).
National Golf Foundation reports:
- The U.S. has lost five million players in the last decade
- 20% of the existing 25 million golfers are poised to quit in the next few years
- The number of newcomers to the game in the U.S. fell by 20% last year: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/02/sport/golf/golf-state-of-the-game-report/
- “A golf course closes every 48 hours in this country. Golf is dying on a limb.” NBC Sports Anchor David Briggs
- “All the people under 35 are leaving the game.” McRedmond Morelli, founder of Boxgroove with 50,000 golf members
- “Golf has been a crummy business for a long time,” Paul Swinand, analyst at Morningstar Inc. in Chicago
- “Golf is a dying game” Gerhard de Bruin, org
- “Golf is in a structural decline.” Ed Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Kevin Gomillion, City of Austin PARD Golf:
- “We’re running 35 to 40% capacity at existing golf courses.”
- “We have plenty of availability now and in order to really be solvent… we need more people paying $20 golf and I don’t need two more golf courses.”