Quincy Park Board hears ‘strategic assessment’ of Westview Golf Course, asks for proposals to privatize Art Keller Marina

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Golfers buy beverages from a cart during a round on Wednesday at Westview Golf Course. A 2020 survey of golfers indicated that 42 percent of participants said concessions were poor or very poor at the course.

QUINCY — A report designed to address the declining number of rounds played at Westview Golf Course was presented to the Quincy Park District’s Board of Commissioners at its Wednesday meeting.

The report was compiled by Tristan Wood, an administrative assistant with the Park District who also is working on completing his master’s degree in business administration. 

Wood approached Rome Frericks, executive director of the Park District, earlier this year about using information compiled in a 2020 survey about Westview to create a report for a strategic management class. David Morgan, director of golf for the Park District, said 950 people received a survey request last year. It had a 17.5 percent response rate.

The number of rounds at Westview has declined from 46,550 in 2012 to 27,369 in 2020 — a 41 percent decrease. 

Wood’s report, titled “Westview Golf Course Strategic Assessment,” focused on four points:

  • Small number of job applicants.
  • Customer service provided at the golf course.
  • Low number of new youth players.
  • Social media marketing of the golf course.

“Westview has a staffing issue,” the report said. “The golf course seems to have a hard time getting interested applicants.”

Wood suggested using Facebook Jobs to increase Westview’s exposure to potential applicants. He also thought giving potential employees an online job application to fill out and posting job openings on the Westview website also would help.

Seventy-six percent of survey respondents said they had a good experience at Westview, but 42 percent said concessions were poor or very poor.  Wood’s report suggested improvements on how staff responds to customers, providing ways for customers and employees to give feedback, and encouraging staff to learn names of customers.

The condition of cart paths was an issue for 14 percent of survey respondents. Wood suggested 25 percent of sales from a beverage cart near the tee box on the 15th hole to be used for cart path maintenance.

Wood introduced an idea that would reward current season pass holders with discounts of 30 to 40 percent on their fees by convincing other golfers to buy season passes. He suggested that Westview could offer social events, such as beer tastings, trivia nights and dance classes, to increase revenue.

The report noted that adding more youth lessons or introducing a SNAG (Starting New At Golf) program would bring younger golfers to Westview. Wood also suggested increasing Westview’s social media activity by creating a calendar of events, posting events to Facebook Events, making more posts using hashtags on Instagram and showing more photos instead of stock photos that have been typically used.

“The idea is to make people think Westview that it’s a community, because it is the community’s golf course, not some private golf course,” he said. 

The Park Board voted Wednesday to request proposals to privatize Art Keller Marina on Quinsippi Island. Proposals also were sought in January, but no responses were received. The marina lost $11,746 in 2020 and is projected to lose more than $30,000 in 2021.

A pre-proposal meeting will be held at 11 a.m. June 24 with interested parties. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. July 8. If an agreement is reached, the lessee would assume management of the marina on April 1, 2022.

Mike Bruns, director of program services, reported that Indian Mounds Pool opened on June 5. Nine lifeguards are employed. Three more will be added by the end of the week if they pass a certification class.

“We have a decent number (of lifeguards) to make it through the summer,” Bruns said. “Of course, it could change tomorrow, but (employment) looks 100 times better than it did last month.”

Bruns said the number of people using the pool is being capped at 150 because of the pandemic. He believes that cap will be lifted at Indian Mounds by Friday.

He also reported 200 people were at the first outdoor movie shown in Moorman Park, 261 kids have registered for the Summer Adventures program (previously called Summer Playground), and 231 kids have signed up for the nature program that runs on Mondays and Wednesdays at Bob Bangert Park.

Bruns also reported a maximum of 90 players played in a recent disc golf tournament.

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