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B.C. golf courses hurting without revenue from weddings, banquets

Last Updated May 11, 2020 at 9:51 am PDT

FILE - The Langara golf course in Vancouver. (Source: vancouver.ca)
Summary

Golf industry in B.C. is still trying to get its financial fortunes on the happy side of par

Most courses struggling with a lack of revenues due to a loss of income from banquets, weddings, other events

Most courses are running only 30 to 50 per cent of their usual staff, association says

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As the last of Vancouver’s public golf courses — Langara — prepares to reopen this week, the broader golf industry in B.C. is still trying to get its financial fortunes on the happy side of par.

Unlike other provinces, such as Alberta, golf courses in B.C. have mostly remained open during the pandemic. However, most are struggling with a lack of revenues due to a loss of secondary income from events such as banquets, weddings, and corporate gatherings.

Erica Beck, regional director of the National Golf Course Owners Association, said the financial future for many courses is uncertain.

“Golf courses definitely have and host a lot of weddings, birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, graduations, and corporate events,” she added.

“The golf courses are reporting that they’ve had very good turnouts for golf purposes, but time will tell as to what happens in regards to food and beverage and events.”

She added most courses are running only 30 to 50 per cent of their usual staff.

Normally, around 44,000 British Columbians a year work on golf courses.

“I think we’re probably going to be in this situation, obviously as everyone has heard, for at least the next few weeks, if not through the summer,” Beck said, “so we just have to be patient.”

Langara Golf Course is set to reopen on May 15. Fraserview and McCleery municipal golf courses reopened May 1.