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Town takes over HGC assets

Masha Scheele

Town Council approved the transfer of assets of the Hinton Golf Club (HGC) to the Town of Hinton after the special meeting of council on Oct. 29.

A conditional advancement of up to $250,000 was also approved to the Hinton golfing society. 

This decision by Council allows movement and preparation toward a 2020 season for the HGC, as Council’s intention is to evaluate options for the continuation of operations at the golf course, stated Emily Olsen, Hinton’s strategic services manager in an email.

Council also directed administration to prepare a report detailing longer-term options regarding management and operations of the Hinton Golf Club, and direction on next steps with the Hinton Golfing Society. 

Due to the amount of confidential information included in the report, the item was required by FOIP to be discussed in-camera.

A date for the next report on the HGC was not confirmed, but it will be brought back to a council meeting as soon as possible, according to administration.

Previously, a $1.1 million in loans through ATB were obtained between 2008 and 2012 for construction of the clubhouse, which burned down in 2015 and had to be rebuilt again.

The HGC sits on land that is owned by the town and it could not restructure or consolidate finances without backing from the town.

A $75,000 term loan with the Town was obtained in November 2016 to get the non-profit organization through the winter after a rough 2016 season with losses of around $200,000 in the food and beverage side of the operation and lower than expected revenues on the golf side due to a depressed economy and a rain-heavy summer.

Conditions of the loan were that it be paid back in six months and a third-party review of the operation would be done.

Several changes were made at the HGC following a critical analysis of the operation and development of a business plan done by CK Golf Solutions.

Following this, town representation was also introduced on the HGC board to better monitor operations.

By April of 2017, the town guaranteed a $1.5 million loan through the ATB at three per cent interest for the HGC, and increased council oversight on the HGC board.

Council also extended the payback deadline on the $75,000 term loan until the full $1.5 million loan was secured.

According to numbers provided to council in October of 2016, the HGC paid off a bank loan and accounts payable in excess of $700,000 since 2011.