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Audubon Golf Course: Lessons for City Park?
Reprinted from and courtesy of SaveAudubonPark.org


In honor of Bob Becker's current foray into the world of constructing expensive new golf courses, this time in his role as CEO of City Park rather than VP of Planning for the Audubon Institute, a job he held until July 2001, we thought it was time to remind people ONCE AGAIN of how this one turned out. Who knows: some day, reality may prevail over hype and misinformation.

The Audubon Commission Financial Statements of 2003 proudly note that "the newly renovated Audubon Park Golf Course and new Audubon Park Clubhouse generated additional revenues of approximately $1,540,000." They chose not to mention that expenses of over $2 million were also generated, resulting in a hefty loss for the new course in its first year of 2003, a pattern that has continued every year since... as predicted by many who opposed the course in 2001. We've charted the numbers for 1995-2008 below, and attached the financial records for the skeptics.

While we've certainly never claimed to understand Audubon Institute economics, it seems that earning $60,000-$80,000 a year from an "old" golf course is far preferable to consistently losing $500,000-$600,000 a year from a new one instead. While revenues for year 5 of operation (2008) are certainly higher than the $1,318,449 projected by their economic study, the corresponding expenses for year 5 are projected at a mere $948,308 rather than the grim reality of $2,345,956.

Is this really what the AC-ANI had in mind? And more importantly, does this sound like good management to you? For an organization that receives almost one-third of its revenues each year from our tax dollars and spent $6 million of mostly public dollars to build this golf course, perhaps a bit of public accountability should be expected.

Visit Save Audubon Park for more information and the revenue/loss chart.