The Hidden Valley Golf Course Working Group started discussions of a strategic plan with the goal to make the facility financially sustainable.
The course, at 580 W. William St., is estimated to have a deficit of $20,000 this year that has not gone unnoticed by City Council. Its members expect to have the plan by late February.
Some working group members said the city should perceive the golf course more as a park.
The plan is expected to appear as a five- to six-page document, said Ted Miller, city parks and natural resources director.
Marketing, corporate sponsors and alcohol sales are expected to be included in the plan, which would be presented to Parks and Recreation Advisory Board on Feb. 21.
Delaware police have cited concerns about the city selling alcohol at one of its facilities, Miller said, and that a proposal was struck down a few years ago.
Some members said council may reconsider given the course’s financial circumstances.
“It could be a different conversation,” said member Brian Canavan.
Additionally, Miller said there was not much left to cut in operating costs. In 2001, operating costs without wages was more than $90,000; compared with about $40,000 in 2014.
Other ideas for the course include developing a social media presence; introducing more family-oriented golf programs such as foot golf; and a variety of games, such as a life-size version Tic-Tac Toe, on the range.
City officials will have preliminary discussions about placing a cell tower on the course for Verizon to fill a coverage gap.
The working group will meet again on Feb. 8.
Brandon Klein can be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.
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