Kevin MacMillan
North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

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November 11, 2011
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IVGID moves closer to possibly outsourcing Champ Course management

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The district is one step closer to possibly outsourcing management of the Championship Golf Course.

Incline Village General Improvement District trustees voted 4-0 (Bea Epstein was absent) Wednesday for staff to create a draft Request For Proposal to understand what an outside company would be responsible for should it take over management of the 18-hole, par-72 golf course.

Staff is expected to come back with the RFP at a future meeting, at which point the board could vote to put it out to bid.

Trustee Joe Wolfe recommended the RFP be created, a decision made after meeting over the past couple months with fellow Trustee Bruce Simonian, Champ Course Golf Pro Charlie Kent and Mountain Course Golf Pro Angie Rodriguez, as part of a golf course outsourcing committee.

Based on those meetings and discussions with members of the Incline Village and Tahoe Incline golf clubs, Wolfe said the district’s best move is to investigate an RFP — knowing it can reject any offer — to see possible benefits.

“This offers us an opportunity to become educated in how others may operate golf courses (at a profit),” Wolfe said.

The biggest pro of an outside company managing the Champ Course, trustees said, is IVGID’s expenses would go down because a company can get better prices for fertilizer and other maintenance-related items, and the district would not have to employ people in golf course management positions.

Potential cons, trustees said, are a company could clean house and fire good IVGID employees; and the unknown variables of how well a company would pay attention to robust upkeep of the course and IVGID buildings, and to customer service.

The overall consensus from people Simonian said he has talked with — including non-golf club members — is to “maintain the road we’re on and … give it another year,” considering this summer was Kent’s first managing the course.

“There’s a fear of losing some good staff that have really stepped up this past year,” Simonian said.

Wolfe countered, saying while that may be an unfortunate reality, it is worth the district’s time to investigate an RFP because “the object of this board is to have a fiduciary responsibly up front.”

During public comment, some residents agreed.

“This is a good idea ... to look and see where there’s going to be savings,” said Margaret Martini.

Aaron Katz, who is suing the district regarding various alleged illegal actions, said the golf course deserves a management team that can bring a profit, considering that hasn’t happened in recent years with IVGID operating it.

“I’m in favor of an RFP ... here’s an opportunity to test the waters,” he said.

After the 4-0 vote, board chair Ted Fuller made somewhat of an ominous statement about what will happen if an outside firm were to manage the Champ Course.

“You will see changes,” he said.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Nov 11, 2011 03:53PM Published Nov 11, 2011 03:51PM Copyright 2011 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.