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Chambers Bay Enjoys Good First Year


Pierce County's Chambers Bay Golf Course finished its first year in the black and generated nearly $700,000 in tax revenue. A report for the first year - actually 53 weeks from June 23, 2007 through June 30, 2008 - shows $5.55 million in revenue against $5.45 million in expenses for a $104,541 surplus.

"Even with the unusually cold and wet spring we experienced, Chambers Bay exceeded the number of rounds we predicted. Now with the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur coming to Pierce County, the prospects are brighter than ever," said County Executive John W. Ladenburg.

State and local taxes totaled $690,000. That includes $216,306 collected by the city of University Place in sales and use and admission taxes and $59,685 collected by Pierce County in sales and use taxes.

The golf operation generated $3.48 million, followed by food and beverage with $1.47 million and golf shop merchandise, $590,700.

Some other notes on the report released by Pierce County:

- Both $430,000 debt payments were made on time (without using one dime of taxpayer's money).

- The golf course, restaurant, pro shop, walking trail and soon, parks, work well as a package.

- About half of the golfers came from out of the area and accounted for half of the tax revenue. This group spent additional dollars in local hotels and restaurants that generated additional tax monies. Pierce County Economic Development is working on an estimate of how much local hotels and retail establishments benefited from the golf course.

- Expenses were higher than expected due to several reasons, including weed and non-native plant removal on the perimeter and waste areas, legal expenses when an individual attempted to make Chambers Bay caddies employees instead of self-employed and increased maintenance due to extraordinary rainfall.

- The restaurant exceeded expectations in popularity and required increased staffing and supplies.

For more information about the course, visit http://www.chambersbaygolf.com/.