Golf members wanted

Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club needs Kitimatians to sign up for membership so it can run for the next year.

A thunderstorm July 28 forced golfers to clear the course at Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club. The club is looking for golfers to renew their memberships for the coming year to help with the club’s financial planning Photo by Anthony Damonse.

Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club needs Kitimatians to sign up for membership so it can run for the next year.

Like many businesses and organizations, the golf club is facing financial challenges and needs members to commit to the club for the upcoming year.

“This time of year, for the next two to three months, we tend to struggle,” said Art Emmerson, president of the Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club.

The club enjoyed a strong Christmas season, but requires paid membership to fund operations in the new year.

Where retail sales businesses use the Christmas season to carry them through the first and second quarters of the new year, Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club uses current year membership fees to carry it through the first two quarters of the year.

As an incentive to purchase memberships, the club is offering “early bird” membership discounts averaging $100 until the end of January.

A “first member” membership is $1000 regularly, but the “early bird” discount brings it down to $900 including HST; “second member” membership costs less and is still eligible for the “early bird” discount.

Like all organizations, the golf course is struggling with increased costs for things such as food and natural gas.

Another challenge facing the golf course is low per capita membership in Kitimat, which Emmerson pegs at less than 5%, though he couldn’t say what a typical percentage might be.

Memberships numbers at the club which reached their peak in 1995 at 371 have been declining as the population of the city has also been declining.

“While this decline has been gradual it has had an impact on our finances and our ability to support [the club],” said Emmerson in 2009.

Sales from the restaurant and lounge supplement the operational costs of the course, which membership fees don’t cover.

Emmerson cites a recent change in law which allows minors into the lounge area meaning families can enjoy the lounge together, though, of course, minors cannot be served alcohol.

For more information on memberships call the Hirsch Creek Golf & Winter Club at 632-4653.

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