Reprinted from the Northwest Herald by permission of letter writer Steve Willson:
No RedTail Banquet Hall
The Lakewood village president stated the village staff did its “due diligence” in considering options for a new RedTail clubhouse, and the village manager said she had prepared estimates of revenue from a new facility.
These statements are false.
Responses to my Freedom of Information requests confirm there was
- no analysis of the cost to repair the existing clubhouse,
- no consideration of replacing the clubhouse with a similar structure,
- no analysis of the long-run trend in demand for golf,
- no analysis of demand for banquet facilities,
- no projections of the cost or operating a banquet hall, and
- no analysis of the effect of a competing banquet hall on Turnberry golf course.
The recommended $500,000 subsidy for a new clubhouse is not from revenues legally dedicated to or produced by RedTail but simply from unrestricted government revenues.
Golf rounds are up since the pandemic, but the long run trend is negative.
As for banquet hall demand,
- D’Andrea closed,
- Turnberry’s banquet room is used 10 days a year, and
- Crystal Woods put golf simulators in their banquet room.
I was informed government subsidized enterprises don’t hurt private businesses, so if residents of Turnberry find themselves living around a weed field someday soon, the village board doesn’t care.
The village board should not put taxpayers at risk with a big new banquet hall venture.
The clubhouse should be repaired if possible, and, if not, replaced with the smallest structure needed to accommodate golfers during the day, not parties at night.