FAIRFIELD — Paradise Valley and Rancho Solano golf courses don’t generate enough revenue to repay loans to Fairfield and the city may loan an estimated $900,000 to the courses over three years.
That’s financing Mayor Harry Price said pays off in residential development and tourism but spurred Councilwoman Catherine Moy’s inquiry to city staff about selling Paradise Valley and Rancho Solano.
Moy said $900,000 “is a huge chunk of money.” She said that a majority of Fairfield residents don’t use the courses. The councilwoman said she’ll continue to ask city staff about a sale.
“I am really torn about this,” Moy added, noting the city has said the golf courses would sell for a low price compared to their value.
Price said the courses, open to the public, helped make the residential development of Paradise Valley and Rancho Solano possible.
“Fairfield has a reputation for providing luxury homes and certainly that’s part of it,” he said. “Good golf courses are a prime attraction.”
They also help the appeal of business conferences that take place at Jelly Belly and elsewhere, Price said.
Kemper Sports Golf Management Company operates the two 18-hole courses. Rancho Solano opened in 1990 and Paradise Valley in 1993.
The proposed city budget that council members take up Tuesday notes that after many years in decline, the number of taxable rounds increased in fiscal year 2011-12 at both courses – a trend that continued last year and through the first nine months of this fiscal year.
Despite the rebound, the courses require city financial support, the budget notes. Rancho Solano will need support through fiscal year 2017-18 and Paradise Valley through fiscal year 2018-19, according to the budget.
The Fairfield City Council took up in May a staff proposal to prohibit teaching for pay by anyone but certified professional instructors employed by the golf course operator or city. Council members delayed action on the proposal.
Moy said Wednesday about the staff proposal to limit teaching and the city’s financial aid to the two golf courses that, “I don’t know if the two are connected.”
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.