GREEN When the city began discussions about purchasing Raintree Country Club, it always intended to have a management company run the course.
During the Nov. 27 City Council meeting, council approved an agreement with Billy Casper Golf to take over the daily operations of the course. The city spent a great deal of time gathering information and then requesting proposals from different management companies.
Green Service Director Valerie Wax Carr said the city received five proposals, which was then narrowed to three and then eventually one.
Billy Casper Golf maintains 150 courses in the United States, including 80 municipal courses. It runs all the municipal courses in Cincinnati and also runs the city golf course in Euclid.
Wax Carr said their niche is municipal golf courses, which made the company an attractive option for the city. She also likes its experience with programs such as First Tee for children and having experience with offseason activities at the golf course.
"Billy Casper is far above the other proposals," Wax Carr said.
The city will pay $7,500 a month to Billy Casper Golf and then will collect 85 percent of all the net profit made from the course each year with Billy Caper Golf keeping the remaining 15 percent. If the course doesn’t make money in a year, Billy Casper Golf is required to return four months of the monthly fee to the city. The money collected by the city would be used to make capital improvements to the property.
The contract is for five years, but the city can opt out after three years, if needed. Some of the ideas proposed for additional uses of the course were to have cross country skiing and hosting 5K runs on the golf course.
Green Finance Director Steve Schmidt said Billy Casper will be in charge of paying all the expenses and will provide the city with monthly financial statements.
Councilman Rocco Yeargin said he liked Billy Casper and the proposal it provided of the course being a community place. He said he spoke with Cincinnati officials who offered a very strong recommendation.
"I feel very good about the proposal," Yeargin said.
Councilman Chris Humphrey, who didn’t support the purchase, said now that council has approved the purchase, it is time to make Raintree a successful operation. He said he likes the proposal and that it offers minimal risk to the city.