City entertaining offers for development of golf properties

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WINNIPEG is moving ahead with a plan to sell some of its financially-troubled golf courses.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/10/2011 (4072 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

WINNIPEG is moving ahead with a plan to sell some of its financially-troubled golf courses.

On Friday, the city put out an expression of interest to see if anyone wants to purchase seven golf courses for commercial or residential development or to take over their long-term lease. The courses that are potentially up for grabs include the Canoe Club, Crescent Drive, Harbour View, John Blumberg, Kildonan Park, Tuxedo and Windsor Park.

The move comes several months after the city first said it would consider selling some of its golf courses or convert them into parks after auditors discovered city-run courses have racked up massive debt.

Iain Day, acting chief operating officer for Winnipeg Golf Services, said he’s already received some inquiries about the properties.

“We wanted to see what options are out there for the redevelopment of the courses,” he said.

Day said the city’s administration will receive submissions at the end of October and review and negotiate any proposals they think are worth pursuing. He said council will make the final decision on any future plans for the golf courses.

Earlier this spring, auditors recommended Winnipeg get out of the golf business to avoid further financial losses. Winnipeg Golf Services is a special operating agency that runs 12 public golf courses and is currently $8 million in debt.

Some city-owned courses — including Tuxedo and Harbour View — are already operated by private contractors, while the city operates Kildonan, Crescent Drive and Windsor Park.

Auditors said financial losses will continue to mount unless the city takes swift action to contract out the management of the Crescent View, Kildonan and Windsor Park golf courses. The report said Winnipeg should consider selling the Assiniboine, Wildewood and Canoe Club golf courses when their leases expire.

Ben Smirnov, director of golf at John Blumberg, said the move doesn’t affect his course since their lease is in place for the next few years.

“It really didn’t impact us at this stage,” he said.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

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