Frequently Asked Questions
Does Jackson Park Golf Course make money for the city? #
No, Jackson Park Golf Course is not revenue positive for Seattle and losses are projected to continue to accelerate.
In 2017, Seattle commissioned the Lund golf report, Strategic Business Plan for the Future of City of Seattle Owned Municipal Golf Courses". The report projects that the 4 Seattle public golf courses will incur losses between $4 million - $8 million for the city between the years 2017-2027 (pg 6-7).
While all of Seattle’s public golf courses were originally set up to be net revenue positive, none of the courses are expected to be able to generate enough revenue to fulfill this objective by the year 2027, with Jackson Park Golf Course projected to fall into the red around the year 2022 (pg 108). Even in 2017, revenue from Jackson Park Golf Course was only barely able to cover its combined operating and non-operating expenses (debt on past capital improvements) (pg 104). Already identified future capital improvements that would be needed to keep Jackson Park Golf Course playable add up to an additional $13.7 million (pg 109). The combination of ongoing operating expenses, expensive necessary capital improvements, and dropping revenues over time as the popularity of golf decreases means that Seattle loses money on Jackson Park Golf Course.
An associated 2018 memo to the Seattle Park Board of Commissioners summarizes the above circumstances:
“Unfortunately, in the last several years course revenues have been declining and have been insufficient to offset all golf related expenses for several reasons. These include such things as poor weather; rising labor costs; utilities; maintenance practice(s); escalating costs and cancellation or delay of capital improvements; use of vendors; operational practices; changing demographics and recreational interests, etc. This trend of declining revenue is projected to continue indefinitely until changes are made to the current golf operational model.”