WILMETTE PARK DISTRICT
Golf Operations Committee Meeting Minutes
8:30 a.m. - Saturday, November 7, 2015
Golf Course Clubhouse


Attendees Present

Commissioners: Shelley Shelly Chair, Stephanie Foster, Gordon Anderson
Staff: Director Wilson, Jeff Bowen, Ken Eppelheimer, Mike Matchen, Adam Kwiatkoski, Nick Marfise

Attendees Absent

None

I. Meeting Called to Order

Meeting called to order at 8:30 a.m.

II. Approval of Minutes

Commissioner Foster moved and Commissioner Anderson seconded a motion to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2015 Golf Committee meeting. All approved by general consent.

III. Communications and Correspondence

Commissioner Shelly acknowledged a letter from Susan Salay regarding Jamie Locke’s performance and his beyond efforts this year. Commissioner Shelly thanked Susan Salay for the nice feedback.

IV. Recognition of Visitors

Commissioner Shelly asked the visitors if anyone would like to address the Committee.

Frank Charhut discussed in details his opinions from Golf Now and some of the 200 golfing facilities in the area using organization that offer discounted tee times. He discussed the changing environment of golf and tee times reservations diminishing. Adam Kwiatkoski commented on Golf Now and the types of organizations they are with offering discounted tee times. He stated that over 50% of facilities are involved in organizations such as Golf Now. The District is not involved in these types of organizations.

David Kritzler, Wilmette resident, commented that he would like to move his golf outing back to the Wilmette golf course. He would like to have his outing on a Wednesday in June. He stated that Staff does not offer Wednesday’s based on their policy but this does not seem to be consistent with everyone. Adam Kwiatkoski discussed the policy and how it has been working which does not consist of offering Wednesday’s unless as a fallback situation. Mr. Kritzler went on to explain how he is a community organization that has been around a very long time. Commissioner Shelly commented that she would love to have Mr. Kritzler’s golf event on possibly a Monday or before May or after September 15th. She asked if Mr. Kritzler could go back to his group to see if this could work with his group. He stated that he plays a lot of golf outings every Monday. He thought the competition with Monday’s and golf outings that it would be nice to have it another day for people to participate more. Adam commented that the question becomes to our unlimited members and how likely would they be to purchase that membership based on having many events scheduled. It is a fine balance. Commissioner Shelly stated that this topic will be tabled for next month after Staff has an opportunity to research this further with possible recommendations.

V. Managers’ Reports

Adam Kwiatkoski (Golf Business Manager) reported on the following:

  • The month of October was fairly flat compared to the prior year with similar rounds.
  • Golf events have been wrapping up for the season.
  • Staff has been busy meeting with vendors to plan for next year.

VI. Proposed FY 2016 Golf Budget Review & 5 Year Capital Review

Superintendent Bowen reviewed and discussed in details the 2016 Golf Budget with the Committee.  Superintendent Bowen highlighted on some details of the budget. The 2016 Golf budget has an 11.7% increase in revenue over 2015. The Staff hopes to have better weather in the spring for golf. Revenue losses in spring are much harder to make up. One-third of memberships have been lost over the past few years. Staff will be recommending some substantial changes to the memberships to increase revenue.

Adam Kwiatkoski discussed how memberships have been working within the District and the steady decline. The Staff looked at what other Districts are doing with the changing environment of golf. Adam discussed some options of what the District will be doing moving forward with memberships. Three types of golf memberships will be offered a gold, silver and bronze. The bronze memberships will take the place of the traditional membership. The bronze will be a more affordable option. The rates for the three memberships will vary depending on residency and age. The gold membership has no changes to it. It will consist of unlimited golf, seven days a week. The silver membership which was added last year has a lower rate with unlimited rounds of golf Monday through Friday with the ability to pay the member rate on weekends. Adam commented on other program options along with the gold, silver, and bronze memberships. The Committee reviewed and discussed golf options in details as outlined in the report.

Superintendent Bowen commented on the salary reallocation adjustments that are being made with Staff.  He discussed and reviewed with the Committee the expense line items as presented in the report and how they affect the District.

Commissioner Shelly asked Staff to go over the daily fees. Adam highlighted on the daily fees as outlined in the report. Commissioner Shelly commented on having a senior rate for nonmembers; for example, someone from out of town who wants to play golf for the day. The Committee discussed options on how this could work within the District and be affordable. The Committee discussed marketing options such as coupon books, bring a friend and recommends further discussions during the marketing layout plan.

Commissioner Anderson asked about the credit card charges and comparison studies. Superintendent Eppelheimer stated that the District went out and got bids and research comparison studies. Superintendent Eppelheimer pointed out that the number of people using credit cards has increased. Commissioner Anderson asked Staff to share with him the research of the comparison studies.  The Committee remarked that there is a $3 surcharge when patrons use their credit card to pay for services.

Staff discussed the Practice/Nursery Green Construction budgeted for $40,000 in 2016. Nick Marfise said this is for materials to construct the nursery green. The location will be near where the current pump house is located. This Practice/Nursery Green will give enough space to grown grass so the District can repair different areas on the golf course for a variety of reasons. Adam Kwiatkoski pointed out that this area would also allow the opportunity to increase some of the programs in size.

The Committee reviewed and discussed the capital plan for vehicles and equipment replacement as outlined in the report.

Commissioner Foster moved and Commissioner Anderson seconded a motion to approve the proposed FY 2016 Golf Budget Review & 5 Year Capital Review.

VII. Unfinished Business

None

VIII. New Business

Director Wilson pointed out that this will probably be Mike Matchen’s last meeting before his retirement. The Committee wished him well and said he will be greatly missed.

IX. Adjournment

There being no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 10:12 a.m.