Local News

Revenue up at GMNGC

By Brett Yates

KILLINGTON — The municipally-owned Green Mountain National Golf Course (GMNGC) has enjoyed a profitable season thus far, netting $28,000 more than it had at the same point last year, according to the Killington Select Board, which reviewed General Manager David Bowyer’s comparative budget report for the first two months of Fiscal Year 2022 on Sept. 21.

Bowyer noted that the revenue increase occurred despite a small drop in the number of golfers visiting the course this year.

“We’re slightly down on rounds, but revenue is up, and what that means is our revenue per player is up. Based on August last year, my numbers tell us we were around $79 per player, and this year we’re around $85,” he said. “And we haven’t done it by raising prices, either.”

Bowyer cited two key factors to explain the difference. The first was that more golfers have been paying full price for their rounds. In 2018, in an effort to engage the local community, GMNGC introduced discounted rates for Vermonters and even steeper discounts for Killington residents. By Bowyer’s account, some out-of-state golfers took advantage of those deals illegitimately. “We’ve been much better at — for want of a better word — policing those. And we’ve been able to maintain a high rate, which is key,” he said.

In Bowyer’s telling, a concurrent crackdown on personal alcohol consumption on the course has played an equally significant role in boosting finances. Such consumption violates Vermont state law, he pointed out. Instead, guests may purchase alcoholic beverages at GMNGC’s restaurant and bar.

“We’ve had a big push this year in policing coolers and stopping folks from bringing in their own alcohol. And that has had a big influence in the revenue increase,” Bowyer related.

While the Select Board speculated that a rainy summer may have caused the course’s minor dip in customer visits, Bowyer mentioned a more generous spacing policy for tee times, with 12-minute gaps between them.

“In honesty, I think the course runs better. It’s almost like having a restaurant where you could fit 50 people in, but it’s better if you fit 40,” he analogized. “The pace of play has been better, so people are likely to come back.”

Bowyer oversees GMNGC on behalf of Brown Golf Management, which the town of Killington contracted to operate the course in 2018. The course’s final day will be Oct. 17.

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