Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Eagle Mtn: Ranches Golf Course On the Up and Up

Just over a year ago, Eagle Mountain took ownership of the failing Ranches golf course. Now city officials are reporting that success has followed.

The city immediately turned management over to Vanguard, the company that manages the Thanksgiving Point golf course, as well as two other courses in southern Utah.

"The golf rounds have doubled within less than a year," said city economic development director Ifo Pili. "Tournaments have doubled within less than a year." And the course has a become a popular spot to host events.

"It's been just over a year since we took over and we've definitely seen an increase," said Mark Whetzel, director of golf for Thanksgiving Point, Eagle Mountain, and several other courses managed by Vanguard. "We're up 20 percent in rounds played, and our tournaments are up eight times, but that is easy to do when you start with only three or four. We have executed exactly what was planned, and we've had nothing but a great response."

He attributed the success to Vanguard's ability to cross-promote between their several golf courses, and their experience. The course is "absolutely on track to make it profitable in three to four years, to get out of the red and into the black, to start making money. We are chugging along."

City manager John Hendrickson said in July 2009 that the golf course has lost $300,000 a year for several years, forcing then-owners Ames Construction to give it up." -Daily Herald

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