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"Following operating losses totaling almost a half-million dollars the past three years and with fewer people playing at Asheville Municipal Golf Course, city officials are considering the idea of leasing the 18-hole layout in East Asheville to a private business.
With expenses averaging nearly $1 million annually over the last four years and declining revenues for two of the last three years, the city-owned golf course has operated at a loss annually ranging from $34,872 to $197,546 for six straight years since Asheville took ownership from Buncombe County as part of the water agreement.
And until an increase in play at the Donald Ross design in the 2010-11 fiscal year that ended last month, the number of rounds played at the 87-year-old course had declined for four consecutive years, from a high of more than 40,000 in 2006-07 to less than 33,000 in ’09-10.
Golf course officials say the harsh winters of the past two years are a major factor in declining play and increasing deficits, but City Council members want to explore the possibility of getting out of the golf course business after having subsidized the course for six consecutive years. ...