Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Beating a "dead" horse...

We've all heard the old expression "you're beating a dead horse" and that is just exactly how I feel every time I ask the question "what is our government doing in the golf business?" and for the life of me I can't figure out why they want to continue losing millions of dollars in operating revenues each year... and why they can't see that every year they hold on to the courses the values continue to go down... my guest is the $30,000,000.00 they think the 4 Provincial courses are worth might fetch them about half that if they tossed in the financing or if it was just a straight cash sale I don't think they could get $10,000,000.00, but who cares anyway...

What's more troublesome is that the private golf operators in the Cavendish market were up by close to 15% this summer because of the good weather but I have it from a good authority that the Provincial courses were down at least 10%... these lousy Provincial course numbers reinforce my belief that Golf Links PEI squandered $1,500,000.00 on Big Break Mill River which gave us absolutely "no return".... visits this year by American golfers who they were targeting with this hair brain scheme were down by over 30%....

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that there's not much future in the current golf industry as there's very little interest in the game from our younger generation and if you don't believe me just ask the next teenager you meet... but on the other hand why should I be complaining when I can be golfing at Dundarave for $300.00 a year... there’s also the expression “why are you trying to beat a dead horse?” so I may as well enjoy the golf while I can at our taxpayer’s expense...

Golf no longer driving P.E.I. tourism
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
CBC News
There were fewer golfers on P.E.I. last summer, despite the fact there were more tourists and the province has been heavily promoting golf.
Good weather didn't help either. Golf rounds sold for the year up to the end of August were down one per cent.
"It is a little baffling as to why exactly the numbers are flat," John-Anthony Langdale, president of Rustico Resort, which includes both a hotel and golf course, told CBC News Tuesday.
"While we were up in the hotel, the numbers on the golf course didn't reflect the increase in occupancy."
Statistics gathered across the province show this to be the case across the Island. Perhaps even more odd is that golf rounds moved in the opposite direction of room nights sold. When compared to 2009, overnight stays by tourists were up in July and down in August, but up overall. For golf, the situation was reversed: numbers were down in July but up in August and down overall.
Barry MacLeod, chief operating officer for the marketing agency Golf PEI, blames economic conditions.
"It's been a year where we're still feeling the effects of the recession," said MacLeod, "especially from our bigger markets like Toronto and Ottawa, which have traditionally been really good strong markets for us."A look at where people were staying bears out this theory. Occupancy of hotels, inns, and B&Bs were flat, while campgrounds posted a 3.6% gain.
Some luxury services have also suffered. David Gibler of Maritime Luxury Limousine said a few years ago he spent a lot of time driving around large groups of Ontario golfers with money to spend.
"There has been a steady decline of these individuals," said Gibler.
"I'll generally get these guys for maybe four days in a row, and I pick them up for golf and bring them to dinner, and bring them out at night and put them to bed and do it all again the next day. And there's been a real lack of them this year."
Marketing not paying off
The underperformance of P.E.I.'s golf product is particularly disappointing in light of recent investment by the province. Two years ago the province spent close to $1 million marketing golf, promoting the Island on the Golf Channel to try and tap into the U.S. market.
MacLeod said while American golfers are now aware of P.E.I., the recession is still holding some of them back. In particular, the cost of airfare is keeping them closer to home.
"They're used to seeing a lot lower prices than we are used to seeing," he said.
"If we're offering a package for five nights, four rounds, which is $725, and they go online and the airfare price is like $920, they're paying more for airfare than they are for a package. So that presents a challenge."
MacLeod said Golf PEI is working on offering more golf packages that include airfare. He's also banking on the hope the economy will improve, allowing the province to cash in on its marketing investment.

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