INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — The discussion of 2012 key rates at the Incline Village General Improvement District board of trustees meeting last Wednesday teed off with a discussion of golf fees.“We have a revenue issue at the golf course,” said Director of Golf Operations Charlie Kent in a presentation to the trustees. “We also have an expense issue. The two lines are not lined up.”Following Kent's presentation, trustee Joe Wolfe asked Kent why the rates on Resident Player Pass had been raised, while rates for nonresidents remained flat.“It's a question I wrestled with all winter long,” Kent said. “We need to put together a budget to come in at an $830 recreation fee. Last season we raised the resident rack rate (the rate golfers pay if they walk up to the counter) from $65 to 75. I didn't want to raise that fee in back-to-back years. To me, the fair thing to do was to raise the passes by a rate which amounted to $5 per round.”“But every time the rates have gone up,” responded Wolfe, “the number of games played by residents has gone down.”Not true, Kent said. According to records from previous years, the rate increase will not have an effect on the number of people purchasing passes.
“I'm going to make my annual comment,” said Trustee Chuck Weinberger. “We are not a business. We do not have the ability to do real-time price adjustment like other courses.”Also not quite true, Kent said. The board has given golf course management some flexibility in pricing by allowing staff to use the services of www.golfnow.com to target nonresident golfers, Kent said. He hopes to use the site to experiment with selling morning tee times.“Will the people on the website be willing to pay premium, morning rates, or are they just deal hunters? We'd like to find out,” he said.Kent said the board should be most proud of its twilight program. He said the program has had a positive impact on the courses because it gets families walking.“That's the direction we need to be going, being more inclusive than exclusive,” he said.The board voted for the proposed key rate schedule, 4-1, with Wolfe dissenting. As for golf, the course's greens were damaged from the dry winter, Kent said, but the grass is coming along “slowly, but surely.”The Mountain Course opened May 11, and the Champ Course on May 15.