More anecdotes from Seasonal Socializing: ” Future of Golf and Curling “
One of the advantages of living in a place for over 50 years is one gets to know many of the things that goes on behind the scenes, especially long term businesses.
I had heard that one of Richmonds older golf courses had been For Sale. I know one of the co-owners and we had discussed the golf business a few years back. The founder had passed away and had several children which had inherited it.
I got the feeling that there were problems in the current ownership situation. Golf has a constant overhead regardless of the players, which is reduced in bad weather. One comment the co – owner noted was that they needed someone ” ruthless ” to run the course, a real take charge person. However, many will admit that once the 2nd generation of ownership is involved, problems will arise.Many of these children are now in their late 50’s and older , with their own children, so it gets messier if not settled.
I have heard through the grapevine this golf course is now sold. While I am no expert on Golf Courses , I look at the selling price and the acreage and did a little math. The “price per acre” seems less than what bare farmland would cost. One can appreciate how much work ….hence cost….it takes to design and build a golf course…..very detailed and specialized work. Or, IMHO, the golf course was sold for much less than ” replacement cost “.
Also know someone quite well – connected to the local curling scene. I know they have signs ” Curlers Wanted “…and I generally ask how curling is going. He was saying it is looking bleak, the numbers of curlers are dropping. The Curling club is on land leased from the City. ( I would submit that when the lease is up the City will likely want to cash in on the site and convert to Hi – Rise ).
So…what IS going on ?
IMHO, it is a reflection of the evolving demographics. Many golfers and curlers were introduced to the game by their family members. What I sense is the links in the chain of continuity are being cut, and as well the games are becoming unaffordable. The discretionary income is increasingly reduced. Other pursuits become popular. Now, many of these are located in and near major population bases.
What about outlying areas ? Many communities are built by some “anchor destination”, ie condos etc. built around golf courses , ski hills. etc. Often, these would be recreational units, ie not the primary residence. However, one can assume that the primary selling point is the recreational aspects….hence if fewer people are interested in skiing golf etc. and much of it due to affordability, it is fair to conclude that these sectors of real estate will face some of the biggest challenges and some of the bigger impacts. These are some of the warning signs that trickle down.