The deal that seemed too good to be true—being paid at least $100,000 a year by a company to run your money-losing golf course—has turned out to be a pipe dream for the City of Gulf Breeze.
Instead, a majority of city council members are poised to vote for a contract with a new manager for Tiger Point Golf Club. This move comes after the municipality’s seemingly sweet arrangement with Integrity Golf LLC in 2015 has fallen into the red.
With Integrity abruptly terminating its contract as of March 31, a majority of city council members say they have little choice but to approve a much less lucrative and hastily drafted arrangement with Georgia-based Honours Golf LLC.
“We’re going from a guaranteed revenue of $100,000 a year to a guarantee of paying $108,000 a year for new management,” said Renee Bookout, a council member and attorney, after a briefing by the city’s staff on Monday night.
“It’s really frustrating,” said Cherry Fitch, a council member and retired school principal. Still, Fitch praised the city’s staff for researching the limited choices in the wake of Integrity’s recent decision to terminate its contract, which was scheduled to run through at least 2020, in just its second year.
“They’ve done a thorough job…this is just where we are,” Fitch said.
Integrity paid the city $100,000 last fall, but decided to bail out by the end of March because operations are currently running at a loss, according to people close to the situation.
The city council is under pressure to approve a new contract or risk having Integrity’s management leave the club without supervision of either the 18-hole course or clubhouse restaurant. The five-member panel is scheduled to vote on Wednesday night and expected to approve Honours, a unit of Troon, based in Scottsdale, Ariz.