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Lakeview Golf Course on the upswing

Lakeview Executive Golf Course will remain under the operation of CourseCo for another five years, following renewal of a management contract with the town of Pahrump.

Lakeview was acquired by the town in June 2018 when officials expressed concern that the course, which was experiencing plenty of financial difficulties, would end up failing.

Not wanting another Willow Creek Golf Course situation on their hands, Nye County commissioners, sitting as the governing board for the town, narrowly approved the purchase of the course for $350,000.

At that time, it was clear the course would need hundreds of thousands of dollars in investment to bring it back up to par and as such, the town has had to kick in funding every year to keep it going. As of the close of fiscal year 2022-2023, however, that has all changed and Lakeview is now operating in the black, a fact for which commissioners were quite pleased.

As detailed in a presentation from CourseCo during the commission’s Tuesday, Sept. 19 meeting, the course netted $39,793 from July 1, 2022 to June 30 of this year and projections for the years to come show that amount ticking upward over time. For the current fiscal year, CourseCo is predicting net profits to jump to $82,000 and by fiscal year 2027-2028, profits are anticipated to reach just under $100,000.

“It’s no secret that when the town bought Lakeview, it was a run-down asset and we were brought in to kind of refurbish and restore it and to see if it was going to be able to be a self-sustaining recreational activity,” CourseCo Senior Operations Manager Aaron Hensley told commissioners. “I think we are on firm standing and footing now… We think that Lakeview is primed for continued success long into the future.”

Golfers are “value seekers,” Hensley remarked, adding that though there is little CourseCo can do regarding pricing, the overall experience of each golfer is entirely in the management company’s hands. “So we went to work diligently trying to improve the overall experience of the user,” he stated.

Touching on some of the accomplishments of the last five years, Hensley highlighted the construction of a new practice putting green as well as a three-stall warm-up station, installation of new tee signs, ball washers and directional signs, and acquisition of an all new golf cart fleet. In addition, CourseCo has introduced a monthly “Tournament Series” which gives golfers of all skill levels a chance to compete each month in a social atmosphere, along with “Glow Ball” which takes place at night, during hours the course had not regularly been used.

One of Hensley’s biggest points of pride, however, was the improvement of the quality of the turf grass, greens, fairway and rough. “Today, Lakeview, from tee to green, from wall to wall, has a completely different feel. It’s covered in grass, it’s green, it’s lush. It’s beautiful,” he enthused.

Two other key developments for the course were the establishment of the Lakeview Advisory Committee and the Lakeview volunteer program.

“The Lakeview Advisory Committee serves a very similar function, on a much smaller scale, that you folks serve for the town,” Hensley told the board. “We wanted a governing body of regulars and golfers who were chosen by the public to create a conduit between management and the golfer, to give the golfer a voice, to have them be able to participate in the decision-making process. We share information, everything is upfront and open. That has been going on for a couple of years now and it’s been wildly successful.”

The Lakeview Volunteer program was a direct result of the Lakeview Advisory Committee, Hensley added. “During those initial advisory committee meetings, it came to our attention that there were a whole host of people who wanted to volunteer at Lakeview but there was no mechanism to do that,” he detailed. “We solved that and today, anyone who wants to volunteer has an avenue to do so.”

CourseCo has also reestablished a junior league and restarted a collaboration with the high school for both golf practices and competitions. The management company is continuing to book course time for outside fundraisers that directly benefit local nonprofits, too.

But the focus isn’t all on greens and golf balls, Hensley said, noting that CourseCo is committed to drawing in as many non-golfers as possible.

“One thing that makes us different at CourseCo is, community outreach is not just for golf. We like to come up with extra activities for the non-golf community as well,” he remarked.

These activities include bi-monthly, non-gaming card games, “Show Your Ride” car shows and “Paint and Par” events. The course is readying to host several other events in the coming months too, including a Trunk or Treat on Halloween, a canned food drive in November, a Holiday Spirit Open House in December and the course’s very first First Green STEM program, which is another example of collaboration with the Nye County School District.

“We kind of knew that Lakeview was going to be a challenge for the first couple of years… We lost about $50,000 (in fiscal year 2019-2020), lost about $100,000 (in fiscal year 2020-2021) and that dropped back down to $36,000 (in fiscal year 2021-2022). I am happy to report that last fiscal year (2022-2023) we began, finally, in the black with about $40,000… and that’s the key, that’s what we need to be able to do longterm,” Hensley concluded.

Commissioner Donna Cox was the first to offer her thanks to both Hensley and CourseCo staffer Joe Opatik for their hard work. “I would like to say thank you for the time you have put into this because I was one of the people who voted against buying it, thinking that it was only going to get worse, instead of better,” Cox said. “But you make it work.”

Commissioner Ron Boskovich said he was delighted to see what a great community partner CourseCo was revealing itself to be and commissioner Debra Strickland chimed in, “We’re tickled. It’s looking really good. The facility looks amazing, it’s really come around.”

Strickland made the motion to approve the five-year management contract, with a second from commissioner Frank Carbone. The motion passed with all in favor.

The management contract specifies that CourseCo will receive $72,000 per year for its services, the cost of which has already been built into the projected expenses for course for the next five years.

Lakeview Executive Golf Course is located at 1471 E. Mount Charleston Drive South. For more information visit www.LakeviewGolfPahrump.com or call 775-727-4040.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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