Stop the requirement for park pass at Loon Lake Golf Club

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The Provincial Park Authority has informed the Loon Lake Golf and Country Club, that beginning in 2021, any vehicle entering our facility will require a valid park entry pass.  We believe this rule is not only “unjust” but will imperil the very viability of our existence.  As such, as one measure of our response, we are asking those opposed to this rule to sign a petition for presentation to the government of Saskatchewan.

A summary of our rationale for our opposition is posted in the clubhouse for patrons perusal or seen below.

1.          We will lose a number of clientele both for the golf course and the restaurant.  For example, consider the restaurant.  Most items on the menu are in the 10-dollar range.  Add a daily park pass fee and you doubled the cost of the meal.  (Daily fee is $10 or annual fee of $75).  We think the extra charge will discourage people from coming for a meal or for our special events such as steak night or Sunday brunch.  A similar case can be made for the golf course.  Casual golfers (especially young golfers from the community who may have limited funds), are unlikely to come when the golf fee essentially is 30% per round higher.

2.          Golfers from other communities such as St Walburg, Makwa,  Meadow Lake,  Ministikwan  Cree Nation, Pine Cove, Candle lake, Brightsand,  Maidstone, Lloydminster, etc. where we currently draw from, may choose to go elsewhere, as all of them have options of other courses that don’t include park fees.

3.          We are dependent on “golf tournaments”, to help fund our course.  These “one day” tournaments such as the Par 3, the Seniors, the R.C.M.P., the M.S. and others rely on participants from all over the province.  Adding a park fee to these participants is essentially an addition to their golf entry fee.  Fewer participants are likely, plus sponsorship may be more difficult to obtain.

4.          Currently, the park profits if the course/restaurant profits!  We pay a percentage of gross to the park.  If our revenue drops, the park revenue from us drops.  Most importantly, if we can’t maintain a financially viable golf and country club, we will have no other option but to close!

5.          Without a golf course facility, the park will suffer.  Many of the campers (who come to the park to be near a nice golf course and dining place), will no longer come.   We are a “draw” for the park as tourism Saskatchewan will attest to.

6.          Currently, the “park” contributes nothing financially to the maintenance and running of the golf course or restaurant!  We do it on a shoestring budget with a number of volunteers as well as paid employees.  If the park collects revenue from those people only desiring to use our facility—is the park going to pay for the maintenance of the course, the equipment, running of the pro-shop, and running the restaurant?

Many courses in Saskatchewan and Nationally are in financial difficulty.  Golf numbers are dropping.  In this region we have experienced a decrease in membership and rounds played, probably due to “oil patch” difficulties.  We are barely getting by and that is because we have delayed the purchase of new equipment until our revenues increase.  Simply put, we can’t afford any incursion into our base clientele.

Please keep in mind that we are one of the largest employers in Loon Lake.  Losing the country club will mean the loss of a significant number of jobs in this small community.

We believe that imposing a gate fee will pose a hardship on the community.  We mean this in both a financial and social sense.  The town of Loon Lake, the R. M. of Loon Lake, the cabin owners, the Indigenous population residing in near by Reserves, and tourists that visit the area, are all adversely affected.

We fully understand that the “park” wants to raise revenue.  We too, are always looking for ways to raise revenues to keep us financially secure.  However, we believe we should be working together to achieve solutions that benefit both parties, rather than imposing decisions on “one partner” that benefits one side and greatly harms the other.  We are willing to help promote the park and hope that the park will work together with us to promote our facility.  Because we share our revenue with the park, if we do well, the park will benefit.

Lastly, the “bottom line’, is that implementation of a park pass requirement for everyone visiting our facility, would be a devastating decision with a number of unintended negative results.  We respectfully request that the status quo is maintained in regard to entrance fees.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the “board” of the L.L.G.&C.C.