City considers future of Bijou Golf Course

Laney Griffo
Staffing the course was not a priority for the city this summer. (Bill Rozak
Tahoe Daily Tribune)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Bijou Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe will not open this summer and city officials are discussing its future.

The course never opened in 2020 because of the pandemic. Now, despite the popularity and affordability of the golf course, the city is not planning on opening for this summer.

“Generally speaking, as we began coming out of COVID, staffing up to support the golf course was not a priority,” said Lindsey Baker, assistant to the city manager.

As for the future of Bijou, the city is considering where to take the course. There are two items in the Strategic Plan for the city to address.

The items include updating the Master Plan for Bijou Park and evaluating the option to include that plan as part of the scope of work for the Bijou/Al Tahoe Area Plan update and exploring alternative uses for the golf course to reach the highest community and environmental benefit.

“We expect to embark on those this coming fiscal year and they will help the city address future use of the golf course,” Baker said.

The average cost to operate the course for a full season is about $300,000, although that depends on spring snowmelt. The course usually makes an annual profit of about $20,000.

“The number of rounds played has progressively decreased over the last 10 years (based on 2019 due to when the course was last open) from 19,107 in 2009 to 6,188 in 2019,” said Baker.

However, since the course last operated, management of the course changed to parks and recreation from public works.

“The Parks and Recreation Department will continue to maintain the grounds to preserve the asset for future use,” said Baker.

The city is instituting a participatory funding model, allowing the public to weigh in on how American Rescue Plan Act funding will be used. The city has emphasized the need for the public to participate in its future, so they want feedback from the community on what should happen to the golf course.

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