Salt Lake City planners hoping for a bag full of revenue dollars from the construction of two new golf courses instead are playing with a bag full of cost overruns.
Wingpointe golf course, near the airport, and Mountain Dell golf course are $220,000 over budget. And, to boot, neither course will be fully playable this fall - costing the city money that planners had hoped would make payments on the $10 million bond floated to construct the courses.Drainage problems and high levels of salt in the soil are killing grass at Wingpointe. Water tank and cart path construction delayed the opening of a new addition at Mountain Dell.
Officials say a fund created by green fees, golf cart rentals and driving range fees from the city's other six courses will pay for the $220,000 overrun.
"To date, we've been able to cover everything with the fund," Linda Hamilton, finance director, said.
She said the city would have no problem making the upcoming payment on the bond. "Circumstances aren't that dire."
The back nine holes at Wingpointe and 27 of the 36 holes at Mountain Dell will most likely be opened next spring, said Scott Gardner, city golf and recreation director.
"We could have opened the back nine at Wingpointe this fall," he said. "But the damage done would not have been worth it."
Gardner said all but two holes of the back nine are ready.
As for Mountain Dell, construction is complete except for the driving range and nine of the 36 holes.
Original construction cost estimates for the two courses totaled more than $9 million.