Thursday, June 1, 2017

Revenue, Play Drops At Trump's Ferry Point Golf Course


Trump Slump.  Revenue and play were down during the second year at Trump Golf Links At Ferry Point Park.   In 2015 the de Blasio administration quietly allowed Trump to dramatically raise fees - already the highest in the City - before the taxpayer built course even opened.   

The golf course collected zero dollars in broadcasting or sponsorship revenue according financial documents submitted to the city and obtained by NYC Park Advocates.    

Bronx

By Geoffrey Croft  

The public played thousands of fewer rounds of golf at Trump Ferry Point while the Mayor Bloomberg-era gift to Donald Trump facility continues to raise prices, already the most expensive public course in the city by multitudes.  

Revenue fell more than a million dollars, dropping 13 % in its second year of operation according to financial documents obtained by NYC Park Advocates.   

The tax-payer built luxury course grossed $ 7, 046, 215, compared to $8,072, 529 the previous year, a decrease of one-million, twenty-six thousand, three hundred and fourteen dollars, during the second of Trump's sweetheart deal with the City of New York.  

The public played 26, 127 rounds the second year compared to 28, 291 the previous year, a decrease of 2, 164 rounds.   

Revenue from greens fees dropped from $ 3.8 million the first year to 3,380.333 the second year, an 11 percent decrease.

Public play and revenue decreased  at the taxpayer-funded Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point Park in the Bronx during its second year of operation.


Revenue from the banquet business plummeted, decreasing from $837,000 to $444,000, or 47 percent.  The snack bar had a 26 percent decline.

Trump is still continuing to make out like a bandit in the Bronx at the taxpayers expense.   

Trump Golf Links At Ferry Point Park is required pay the city nothing through the first four years of his 20-year contract.

Ferry Point is the highest grossing municipal golf course for the second straight year due to the sky-high prices.     

In 2015 the “progressive” de Blasio administration quietly allowed Trump to dramatically raise fees - already the highest in the City - before the taxpayer built course even opened.   

Trump is allowed to charge more than four times what other city public courses are allowed to.  Trump is also permitted to increase green fees annually according to his agreement which he has done again.  

Greens fees during the week are now $146.00, and $175.00 on weekends compared to  $144.00 during the week and $172.00 respectively in 2015 during the first year of operation.   By comparison the highest rate for greens fees charged at other city public courses during the week is $ 41 dollars, and $ 51 on weekends. Non-residents pay an additional $8.00 dollars.  

Non-residents playing at Trump get bilked even further. Prices for a round of golf during the week is now $ 201.00, and  $ 227.000 on weekends compared to $194.00 and $ 219 dollars respectfully in 2015 during the first year of operation.  The original contract signed by Donald Trump's Ferry Point Partners for green fees in 2013 allowed him to charge $100 for a round of golf  (Monday-Thursday), and $125 on weekends and holidays.  

He was also allowed to charge non-residents $25 more on weekends without the approval of Parks or the city.  

Rates for military personnel were raised $ 4 dollars per round this year.  Active military are now expected to pay the “discounted”  $ 94 dollar rate.  

Juniors (under 16) during the week are being charged a whopping $ 60 dollars compared to the city-wide rate of $ 7.75.  Non-residents pay $ 93 dollars.   The Trump rates are high above the $35 for juniors specified under his original contract. 

During the golf course's first two years seniors were penalized even more - they were charged almost five times more than at other “municipal” courses.  They had to cough up  $ 140 dollars for a round compared to $ 24 dollars city-wide.  The “discounted” rates for seniors is not available on weekends and holiday’s.  

Trumps’s original contract stipulated that seniors would pay $55 dollars.     

The high prices continue to keep seniors away.  Play fell from 1,706 rounds to 1,535,  a decrease of 10 percent.   Seniors accounted for just 6 % of rounds played - teeing off only 1,535 rounds out of 26, 127 during the course’s second year of operation. 

On average seniors usually make up nearly 40% of the demographics according to the National Golf Foundation statistics.  

Trump slashed senior prices for the current 2017 season after the disastrous revenue the first two years.  This year seniors still have to cough up a whopping $ 94 dollars for a round compared to the city-wide rate of  $ 25 dollars. The “discounted” rates for seniors ia not available on weekends and holidays.    Trump’s original contract stipulated that seniors would pay $55 dollars.

Seniors who don't live in NYC get bilked even further - they are required to pay $ 136 a round. 

Trump’s sweetheart deal doesn’t end there: The taxpayers are also responsible for paying his water and sewage bill facility which runs more than $ 1 million dollars annually.   Trump was reimbursed $1.05 million in water and sewage costs for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. Last year the city estimated he would be reimbursed another $1.09 million for fiscal year 2016. 

Despite repeated requests the NYC Department of Environmental Protection refused to provide updated figures. 

Not a single elected official complained about the terrible deal for tax payers until Donald Trump’s presidential campaign began to pick up steam.

The publicly funded project cost close to $ 230 million dollars, the most expensive municipally built golf course in the nation. 

Trump is required to invest $10 million to build a clubhouse which is required to begin this year. The facility is expected to bring significantly more revenue to Trump.

http://www.trumpferrypoint.com/golf-rates

York City Golf Course Rates - Excluding Trump Ferry Point Golf



Golf Rates. https://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/golf  New golf rates effective April 1, 2017. Rates are for NYC residents with valid NYC Resident Golfer's Permits. Additional non-resident fees of up to $8.00 apply. The fees above, excluding the rate for Juniors, are inclusive of a $4.00 surcharge.



In October, the City denied Trump’s request to extend the agreement for an additional twenty years.

The city also denied Trump’s request to further expand the golf course into parkland.  His plan would have encroached public access to the long-delayed19.5 acre waterfront park. 

The Trump proposal called for an equal-sized land swap exchange with waterfront views he claimed were needed for expanding the 17th and 18th holes to make the course attractive for a potential PGA major tournament, such as the U.S. Open.

If the city agreed Trump would have created passive parkland near the course that he would maintain and be named after him, The Donald J. Trump Athletic Trail.   (You can’t make this stuff up.)

Trump Links representative also claimed the Parks Department’s new park would be dangerous due to flying golf balls and their alternative plan provided a safer alternative.   (Can’t make this stuff up either.)


Last month it was revealed that police were investigating several recent criminal incidents which have occurred on the property including cutting down trees and anti-Trump graffiti.


Background

The original contract signed by Donald Trump's Ferry Point Partners for green fees in 2013 listed $100 for a round of golf  (Monday-Thursday), and  $125 on weekends and holidays.  He was also allowed to charge non-residents $25 more on weekends without the approval of Parks or the city. 

Since then the sky-high green fees have skyrocketed even further. 

In 2007 Mayor Bloomberg decided the citys tax-payers should pay to build the luxurious Scottish links style (without trees) project after the Giuliani-selected original developer Pierre Gagne’s Ferry Point Partners walked away in 2006 because of rising costs. (but not before the city paid them nearly $15 million of the $43 million already spent by 2009) 

Bloomberg officials at the time absurdly claimed that rates would be affordable and comparable in price to the city’s more than a dozen other municipal golf courses.

“The intention is to keep [prices] in line with other city courses and not charge as premium,”  then Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe said with a straight face in 2009.


It is highly unlikely the city will ever make back its investment considering the project’s price tag and the favorable terms Trump was given.  The city said it had hoped to recoup some of its investment by hosting PGA or LPGA events there, a prospect now highly unlikely considering Mr. Trumps’s public behavior.

The Bloomberg administration also repeatedly claimed the course would generate economic activity in the Bronx without ever providing proof.     

Under the Radar Deal 

In December 2011 the City announced they had negotiated a 20-year license agreement for the operation of the Ferry Point Golf Course to the Trump Organization. 

The Parks Department dumped a press release announcing the proposed deal with Trump on a Friday, the day before Christmas Eve. The financial arrangements were conspicuously absent in the announcement. The shocking terms of the proposed agreement were quietly released in the City Record the following week. 


Terms:

Trump is required pay the city nothing through the first four years of his 20-year contract. Years 1-4: No Fee. Year 5: $300,000 or 7% of Gross Receipts plus 3% of sublicense gross receipts. By the 10th year, he is required to pay $360,000 or 7% of Gross Receipts plus 3% of sublicense gross receipts. By year 20, he is required to pay the city $470,000 or 10% of Gross Receipts plus 3% of sublicense gross receipts.


Trump is required to invest $10 million to build a clubhouse which is slated to begin next year. The facility is expected to bring significantly more revenue to Trump.

The person in charge of the Trump golf deal is Ronald Lieberman, Ferry Point vice president of special projects for the Trump Organization and former head of the Parks Department revenue division until 2007 when he went to work for Trump.  


“We view this as anything but a sweetheart deal,” Lieberman said in 2012.

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus got paid $ 1.25 million for design services and taxpayer-subsidized luxury travel perks according to the City’s agreement including "private aircraft, helicopter, and other expedient methods of transportation." 

Trump’s sweetheart deal doesn’t end there:  When his payments to the city do kick in his minimum annual fees are be much smaller  than those paid by the city’s other golf concessionaires — his percentage of gross receipts will also be less, according to several licensing agreements reviewed by NYC Park Advocates.

The 18-hole golf course in Brooklyn’s Marine Park, for instance, compensates the city as follows: In each operating year, the licensee shall pay the city license fees consisting of the higher of the minimum annual fee. (Years 1-5: $325,000; Years 6-10: $475,000; Years 11-15: $575,000; Years 16-20: $675,000)

In Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, the golf course’s 20-year agreement calls for the city to collect, in years 1-5, the greater of $300, 000 or 17 percent of green fees and cart rentals and 10 percent of merchandise, snack bar/grill, and other revenue, plus 35 percent of resident ID card fees. by the years 16-20: The greater of $550,000 or 20 percent of green fees and cart rentals and 10 percent of merchandise, snack bar/grill and other revenue, plus 35 percent of resident ID cards. 

Private Uses. 

Trump is also allowed to completely close the golf course to the public on any day for private tournaments and outings, league play, and junior or youth programs. Requests to close the facility "shall not be unreasonably withheld" by the Parks Department, according to the terms of the agreement. He would also be allowed to use up to 20 percent of starting times Monday through Friday for private tournaments and outings. 

To further maximize his earning potential, during the hours and days the golf course is not ordinarily open to the public Trump is entitled to conduct special events in any banquet or other catering facility. Listed banquet events include weddings, civil unions, renewals of vows, bridal/baby showers, birthdays, family reunions, and afternoon teas, to name just a few.

In addition to the golf course concession, the city is also required to build Trump a waterfront park snack-bar concession called “Donald’s Joint.”

Déjà vu

"It's a mess ... There was a contract entered into long before our administration ... It turns out it was a terrible contract. But that doesn't mean you go criticize the guys that did it because, for all I know, I would have done the same thing. Maybe at that time it appeared to be a great contract.”  -  Mayor Bloomberg infamously stated on November 23, 2007.

19.5 Acre Waterfront Park


The community’s long promised 19.5 acre waterfront esplanade park is still nowhere to be found.   

   

Originally scheduled to open in 2013, today the area is filled with weeds, its topography appears just as it did more than six decades ago when Robert Moses built the crescent shaped waterfront in anticipation of building an actual public park at the site and smaller golf course. 


The public is supposedly able to track progress on agency projects on its online Capital ProjectTracker website created to “ increase transparency.”  However the project is also nowhere to be seen. 



What little reference there was to the project was removed from the website long ago. 


Sign of the Times. Enter At Your Own Risk. Near the long promised waterfront park's future entrance at Emerson & Schurz Aves.

(Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) click on images to enlarge. 


Read More:

Trump Golf Course Struggles in Bronx, Where Many Can’t Afford to Play
New York Times - June 2, 2017 - By Winnie Hu and Emily Palmer 

Trump luxury golf course built on NYC trash dump sees drop in business  
CNBC - June 2, 2017 - By Mike Juang


New York Daily News - June 1, 2017 - By Megan Cerullo 

Business sags at Trump’s New York golf course as players stay away
Washington Post - May 1,2017 - By Drew Harwell and David A. Fahrenthold 


New York Post - June 1, 2017 - By Rich Calder

Trump Scores $ Big At "Public" Golf Course At Taxpayer Expense
A Walk In The Park -  June 13, 2016 - By Geoffrey Croft 


 A Walk In The Park - April 1, 2015 

A Walk In The Park - October 16, 2013 -  By Geoffrey Croft

Donald Trump In Sweetheart City Tax-Payer Funded Golf Concession Deal
A Walk In The Park - January 9, 2013 - By Geoffrey Croft

A Walk In The Park - September 30, 2012 - By Geoffrey Croft 












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