WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Ball Fore and Pool Revenues Take a Dive

Sep 29, 2013

The Macomb Park District is concerned about the operating losses at two of its facilities.

Commissioner Jim Bloom said revenues have been steadily declining at Ball Fore during the past five years. He said it brought in nearly $70,000 in 2009, but this year’s revenues were just $38,200.

Credit Rich Egger

“People just aren’t showing up out there,” Bloom said, adding that for many years Ball Fore generated enough money to cover other expenses.

“Basically it offset our cost of swim lessons,” Bloom said. “Swim lessons were almost free. There was no loss … to the park district.”

Bloom said the district also lost $17,800 on Glenwood Pool this year, which is $9,800 more than projected.

Park District Executive Director Ray Peterson said the use of Ball Fore’s driving range has dropped dramatically in recent years. Peterson said it was the only range in town when the district acquired the park roughly 20 years ago; he said now all three golf courses have a range.

Peterson said use of the batting cages has also decreased.

Peterson said Ball Fore had “an absolutely great run” for a couple decades, but the last three years have been a financial challenge.

He said the park district will need to take a look at what the public now desires for its public park facilities.

“Both of these facilities (Ball Fore and the public pool) are likely to not look the same in a couple years,” Peterson said.