LARNED — Members of the Larned Country Club board of directors Chris Froetschner and Dave Blackwell, president, presented a request for the city to consider assisting with replacement of the LCC golf course parking lot at the city council meeting Monday night. Froetschner presented data to support the board’s assertion that the golf course is a gateway to the city for many out-of-town visitors, and tax revenue generated there from the many users as well as secondary support to the business community warrants the city’s consideration.
The course is heavily utilized, and a high percentage is from out of the county, Froetschner said.
“Overall, there are over 1,200 folks who utilize LCC and Edwards Park directly, not including daily use by current members of the country club and the daily in-and-out traffic of indirect users,” he said.
He broke it down, noting 15 tournaments were held in 2019 by a diverse range of groups including the mens and ladies associations at the country club, the local hospital, the Larned Chamber of Commerce, the Dodge City Community College golf team and USD 495 boys and girls golf teams, as well as the USD 495 cross country meet that pulls in 25 teams from out of the county. In addition, there is the revenue generated by the Pin High Restaurant and Bar located at the golf course, which was recently updated to better attract group events and parties. Froetschner was surprised by the number and diversity of the groups mentioned as he gathered data for his presentation, he said.
“All of this speaks to the amenity we’ve built up over the past few years,” Froetschner said. “It should be kept up to present the best image and introduction that we can afford to create value for the Larned community.”
Parking lot shot
The condition of the asphalt parking lot is becoming a safety issue at this point, Froetschner said. He was backed up by Larned’s street department superintendent Allen Taylor, who agreed the parking lot has been patched several times, its integrity is shot, and further repair will do no good.
The board wants to replace the asphalt with concrete, noting the cost of asphalt has gone up in recent years, making the concrete economically feasible, plus it will last 50 years, much longer than asphalt. Overall, it is better and cheaper. Still, the cost of materials alone is between $40,000 to $45,000. Labor to do the work will be about $10,000. Taylor anticipates it would take four employees and 12 to 15 days to complete the project. He was confident that he has the staff and equipment necessary to take on the project
Money generated from tournaments goes to the groups holding them, it was noted. The country club receives a nominal greens fee or a flat rate for use of the course. And while the country club’s Ladies and Mens associations give back to the course, additional funds for the project will be needed. Last year, the club held off on holding its own fundraising event, but plans to resume it in the spring of this year. Mayor William Nusser wondered if a city match might entice giving, and Froetschner was enthusiastic.
Jason Murray, Ward 3, lent his support to the request. With the current low volume of use, now is the time to do it, he said. With the cross country meet in mind, he asked the council to consider how many other towns see the state of the parking lot and how it reflects on the city.
“People see that golf course before they see any other part of our city,” he said. “In my opinion we need to do some due diligence to make sure that its at least not a liability and that it’s something that we’re proud of.”
Nusser directed the council to reconvene on the topic at the February meeting and asked the country club to come up with a specific amount needed.