Three Crowns Golf Course is Under New Management
The Three Crowns Golf Club has hemorrhaged millions of dollars since it opened on the former Amoco refinery site, but the board that oversees the property hopes a new management company will slow the losses.
"We have brought in Landscapes Unlimited out of Lincoln, Nebraska, as the new consulting management company," Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board Chairman Reed Merschat said Wednesday.
"We think we have the best candidate to lower this deficit," Merschat said after the board meeting.
The ARAJPB was created in 1998 to oversee the development of the former Amoco refinery and tank farm properties.
The Three Crowns Golf Club is the largest feature on the site, now known as the Platte River Commons.
It opened in 2005 and was supposed to break even after a few years.
Annual subsidies have ranged up to $500,000 a year from the ARAJPB.
For this fiscal year ending March 31, the board approved $323,000 to subsidize the course. However, the Three Crowns deficit rose to about $374,000, so the board on Wednesday authorized more money to cover the additional loss because of poor weather.
The ARAJPB won't run out of money subsidizing Three Crowns, Merschat said. "So the sustainability actually is fairly long term; we have a comfortable cash pot."
But the board is not comfortable with the losses, either, he said.
So the board sought a third-party management company with more aggressive goals than the previous manager OB Sports, whose contract ended in December.
The board signed a contract with Landscapes Unlimited, which took over in January, and has its work cut out, Merschat said.
Three Crowns competes with three other local golf courses, and the golf has been on a downward trend for the past decade, he said.
So Merschat and the board hope the new management can resist those factors and stem the losses.
Landscapes Unlimited manages The Golf Club at Devils Tower near Hulett and several courses in Colorado, so it understands the challenges of short seasons in the Rocky Mountain region, he said.
The company intends to expand its youth and ladies golf program, and offer more non-golf events including catering, parties, weddings and operating the restaurant, Merschat said. Three Crowns employs 18 to 24 employees and more groundskeepers during the regular season, he added.
The board also announced the new general manager and golf pro. Matt Reams comes from San Antonio, Texas, and has managed courses in Colorado, Maryland, California and Oregon, according to golftrips.com.
The ARAJPB was created in 1998 when Amoco — now BP — signed an agreement with the City of Casper and Natrona County to oversee the development of the property and replace the hundreds of jobs lost when the refinery closed in 1991.
The Casper City Council and the Natrona County Commission appoint the board members.
The joint powers board does not receive any funding from the city or the county.
BP pledged more than $28 million toward the goal of replacing the number of jobs lost when the refinery shut down in 1991. The board has received all that money.
Besides BP, the joint powers board receives revenue from interest income, and sales and leases of its property on the former refinery site now known as the Platte River Commons and the former tank farm now known as the Salt Creek Heights Business Center.