Smaller golf course offers possibilities to Frisco |

Smaller golf course offers possibilities to Frisco

Dan Fallon, Frisco, owner Barkley's Margarita Grill, Barkley's West and Dark Side Pizza

The ad run by the Save the Peninsula Coalition (STPC) in the Oct. 29 edition of the Summit Daily News was just another salvo in what has become an endless barrage of meaningless figures, empty claims and selfish suppositions.

Alluding to the phantom golf course of 1992 at all is meaningless. An 18-hole course of championship length – close to 7,000 yards – is not being considered in any substantive discussions regarding a golf amenity on the peninsula. An 18-hole golf amenity almost universally is considered a nonstarter.

Another type of golf amenity, such as a nine-hole executive course or a par 54 -18 par-3s – type of layout are among those being considered.

These designs are gaining favor again throughout the country as reasonable alternatives for resorts and municipalities searching for solutions to the complicated problem of increased recreational demand in the face of stringent fiscal, environmental and spatial constraints.

Par-54 layouts, with driving ranges, practice facilities, modest clubhouses and maintenance facilities, are being constructed on less than 80 acres. To put that in perspective, Frisco owns about 219 acres on the peninsula, and the entire peninsula is composed of almost 900 acres.

Since the phantom course of 1992 isn’t being considered, the introduction of its estimated maintenance costs and water use is hardly relevant.

In the above example, only a portion of the 80-acre golf facility would need to be irrigated. It follows, then, that a smaller golf amenity, intelligently designed with regard to our environment and average climate, certainly would use less water.

Frisco doesn’t need a golf course? As a Frisco resident for 14 years, business owner for almost eight and golfer for long enough that I shouldn’t be shooting 102, I can say five courses within five miles at $100 to $150 – or discount tee times when I can’t play – means they might as well be in Denver.

Denver is where most Frisco golfers go for affordable golf, taking their hard-earned dollars with them, consuming resources – I don’t mean beer – and burning S valuable time.

Frisco needs a challenging, affordable golf facility the average family or working stiff can afford. The peninsula would be a wonderful location, and the current proposed concept on display at the town hall demonstrates how it can be accomplished, without adversely affecting any of the existing amenities already in place on the peninsula.

Frisco needs a golf course not to indulge another large local recreational group, but because we need to develop and market all the amenities on the peninsula, existing and planned, to help ensure the future economic vitality of this town.

In a drought year, golf courses, like raft companies and restaurants, car washes and campgrounds, marinas and almost everyone, suffer – if this last year in Summit County is any example.

One bad year in 20 is not what an economic plan should be built upon – considered, yes, but hardly the foundation.

A golf course should, on the other hand, be an integral part of a world-class recreational complex, the marketing of which absolutely needs to be the bedrock of a long-range economic plan that will allow Frisco to attract and retain more visitors, especially in the critical summer season.

In all of the press coverage I’ve read relating to this controversial issue, the STPC stridently has opposed any golf amenity, citing financial and environmental concerns and fears that existing amenities would be compromised.

The concept on the board at the town hall demonstrates how golf facilities, multipurpose convention center/ice rink, amphitheater and sledding hill can be developed while leaving existing amenities intact and, in fact, enhanced.

I have not heard the STPC raise any objections to these other amenities. Will the STPC oppose them as soon as the golf course issue is put to rest?

Or is it a case of golfaphobia and lip service on the environment and budget, neither of which I guess would be heavily impacted by developing a multipurpose convention center, ice rink, amphitheater, sledding hill and, of course, all the associated parking in the heavily used, urban forest environment of the peninsula – so classified in the recent feasibility study done by the town.

What is the vision of the STPC for Frisco 10 years down the road? Will it be paying the town’s bills? Will a program it espouses contribute revenue for affordable housing? Is it creating more and better-paying jobs? Is it guaranteeing you the right to work, live and play in Frisco? For everyone?

I hope everyone votes, and if you vote, first examine the concept for the peninsula on display at the town hall. Learn the facts, think for yourself and consider what this vote means for the future of this town.

Investment is risky, but I believe this town has a lot more to offer. Not investing right now means moving backwards, and that is a bad idea. Vote NO on Frisco Question 200.

Let the discussion continue!

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