TREASURE ISLAND — A drop in revenue from golf and tennis user fees has some city commissioners questioning whether rate adjustments are needed to increase profitability.
The revenue from the city's nine-hole, par-3 course at Treasure Bay Golf & Tennis on Paradise Island dropped from $109,246 in 2011-12 to $105,447 in 2012-13. Revenue from golf lessons also slipped from $4,668 to $3,658 during that period.
The number of golfers dropped from 12,202 in 2011-12 to 9,658 in 2012-13. Tennis revenues were slightly down from $51,825 in 2011-12 to $47,989 in 2012-13.
"Maybe we should consider lowering our rates next year if participation doesn't go up," Commissioner Phil Collins suggested at a recent City Commission meeting.
But Recreation Director Cathy Hayduke thinks the rainy weather contributed significantly to the lower use.
"The weather affects us tremendously," she said. "Lots of tourists and seniors aren't going to come out in wet weather."
The number of people playing golf or taking lessons had been up the previous two years while tennis has held steady, she said.
The city is getting ready to resurface its two asphalt tennis courts and its basketball court at the Paradise Island complex at a cost of $13,900. Hayduke thinks the project, which is expected to begin by the end of the year, will boost court usage and, in particular, the city's junior league program.
"It hasn't been done in a few years and they (courts) are starting to crack," she said. "We've had a strong junior program for under 12 over the years, but those kids are now in high school and college so we need to build our base again."
The basketball court will be lined to allow for multiuse as tennis courts, Hayduke said. The city also has 10 clay tennis courts along with a volleyball court and playground at the complex.
Commissioner Carol Coward said despite the lower revenues, the city is providing programs for children that are very popular.
"We have a good kids' program," she said. "Every time you go there, the courts are full."
Hayduke said the city's user fees on golf are competitive and tennis fees have not gone up in three to four years.
One indication that the attraction of the facilities has not waned is the popularity of its glow golf program offered between November and March, Hayduke said. Golfers play at night with illuminated balls.
"We just had our first night and it sold out," she said.