David Ready says the city of Palm Springs is not selling its two municipal golf courses. At least not yet.
Desert Sun, October 7, 2020
“This was a very initial step of a very long process,” said Ready, the city manager for Palm Springs, of the city council’s decision to spend $14,000 to appraise the land on which the 36-hole Tahquitz Creek Golf Resort sits. “And that process will consist of significant public input and I would say a series of council meetings and neighborhood meetings.”
The expenditure of $14,000, approved as a consent calendar item in the city council’s Sept. 24 meeting, covers half the cost of appraising the Tahquitz Creek land. The other half of the funding will come from a partnership of the Oswit Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land. It is the Oswit Land Trust that has approached the city about buying the golf courses with the intent of returning the land to the natural watershed.
Even if the city moves forward with selling the Tahquitz Creek courses, there may be some obstacles for the Oswit Land Trust in purchasing the courses. First could be the cost of the land itself, and second could be what Ready called five to seven more years of a $1 million-per-year debt service on the city bonds that were used to build the Resort Course.
“It’s roughly about $1 million a year in debt payment, then we have a 30-year-old golf course that needs significant upgrades in infrastructure or the clubhouse,” Ready said. “A new bond might be brought into the picture.”
Either way, Ready said nothing will be decided by the city until it hears from citizens, including golfers.
“There are competing interests, but that is why this is just the beginning of a long and extensive discussion including the community and the council,” Ready said. “The overreaching goal, it is my belief, is that whatever occurs will have to serve the community, the neighborhoods and the city.”