Golf course, restaurant left in the rough

Regarding the Riverbend golf course and restaurant pipe dreams:

The most rudimentary amount of research into the viability of golf courses in the last 10 years will reveal that public and private courses are closing at a rapid rate due to changes in demographics similar to what we see happening in retail store and mall closures.

• Courses were over-built during the ’90s following the popular hype but declining economic conditions have reduced the disposable income of a majority of the population.

• Younger people have many more options for athletic opportunities and have shifted away from the more expensive ones.

• From a Bloomberg article, in 2014 course closings exceeded openings with 157 closures and only 14 openings, and of the closings 151 were public courses, 97 percent.

• This is reality and no amount of living in the past or pouring another $6 million into it will magically reverse the trends that have nothing whatever to do with the course itself. It is the market.

I sincerely hope that the City Council was not so foolish as to make promises to the developer of the apartment complex that the city would improve the course for the benefit to the developer by “golf in your back yard” availability. The excuses given for the tax break to the developer were onerous enough, but if there is some sweet deal behind the curtains to spend $6 million to enhance the course as well as the developer’s property and rental rates, malfeasance is too mild a term.

• The recent articles on the fate of the restaurant at the course illuminate the failure of the City Council to come to terms with the reality of a business location that is guaranteed to fail. no matter how much glitter is spread on the business plan. Restaurant traffic has declined dramatically for the same reasons that retail and golf courses are failing … economics and more attractive options.

Restaurants were the hot deal 10 years ago when incomes were higher and the economy had not been crashed. But now we have a whole new demographic with fewer dollars to spend on going out to eat as well as the rise of enthusiasm for cooking at home, success of the Food Channel, etc., being prime indicators.

• The City Council continues to piddle funds away on things like the $1 million spent to renovate medians on Pacific Highway, instead of maintaining the roadways where it could do some good in reducing wear and tear on our vehicles and evasive driving around potholes a necessary skill.

• Pouring more time and money into Riverbend and the restaurant foolishness are economic potholes that need to be eliminated post haste.

– Paul Nickelson

More in Letters to the Editor

Online school keeps us sailing

We enrolled our son, Alex, in Washington Virtual Academy in Kindergarten (WAVA)… Continue reading

Homelessness requires care, accountability

Responding to Michael Colasurdo’s comments in a letter to the editor, “Stop… Continue reading

Brighter side of Trump

I agreed with much of a previous letter writer telling us how… Continue reading

Are Democrats ready for change?

There’s hardly any point of having a two-party system in theory when… Continue reading

Where are our leaders?

Our nation and the world cannot understand what is happening to the… Continue reading

I-1631? Just another government money grab

I thought the Reporter did a decent job of breaking down the… Continue reading

Trust in government

As of this writing, on Nov. 6, your City Council plans on… Continue reading

Thanks to all who supported pursuit of restoration grant for historic building

Kent Downtown Partnership would like to thank everybody who voted for the… Continue reading

Dino has my vote for Congress

Watching the debate between Dino Rossi and Kim Schrier on YouTube was… Continue reading

Don’t be misled, vote yes on I-1631

Let’s dig into the “special interests” that wrote and support I-1631. These… Continue reading

Race for Congress: Fresh Face vis-a-vis Old Pol

Electing Kim Schrier will bring to the office “pluses” sorely needed in… Continue reading

I-1639 is a bad law that attacks our rights

If you value your civil rights, then please vote no on I-1639.… Continue reading