Foresters debate Fort Sheridan golf course

May 29, 2009 Full story: Fox Valley Shopping News

Proposals to develop engineering plans and seek bids for the construction of a new golf course at the Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve were voted down Thursday by the Lake County Forest Preserve Board.

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Lake Forest, IL

#1 Jun 2, 2009
They should of kept the course "as is". It was a fun simple course that blended in beautiful with the landscape....nice job guys

Chicago, IL

#2 Jun 18, 2009
A responsible and courageous action by the Lake County Forest Preserve Board.

Perhaps this was once a fun, simple course. But today, that need is served by nearby municipal courses that are struggling to stay afloat and/or losing hundreds of thousands of dollars. The Park District of Highland Park, according to their published budget, has lost over $750,000 in the last six years operating their golf course. Two the three Lake County Forest Preserve District courses lose money.

To build another fun, simple course in this glut of golf course over-supply is insane.

What the County is considering is a championship golf course with fees exceeding $100/round.

Elk Grove Village, IL

#3 Oct 20, 2009
The view of the county board is not only short sighted, but totally ignores the grant and deed restrictions which were agreed to when the county accepted the property and which were further relied upon by the residents of the Fort Sheridan project. The land is perfect for a world class championship course which would be a crown jewel for the county. Go to Kohler, or Bandon Dunes in Oregon.....this is a similar piece of property, and these courses not only augment the local economy, they drive it. Waiting and watching for the County Board to act in an arbitrary fashion and dedicate a field of weeds or a dog park.

Chicago, IL

#4 Oct 20, 2009
Actually nobody is ignoring the deed restriction or the implied promise to the nearby homeowners without which this matter would have been buried a long time ago as there is no public will for another municipal golf course - championship or otherwise. The same developers who promised the golf course also left the property with a mound of contaminated dirt that took a lawsuit and three years to resolve and then remove. So much for the developer's commitment to seeing the golf course they promised in their sales brochures actually being developed.

Kohler's Blackwolf Run is, indeed, world class and wholly privately operated by the Kohler Co. who can choose to assume the risks and derive the benefits of driving their local economy. Green fees and mandatory caddies bring rounds to over $200. Bandon Dunes is another privately operated resort course with rounds exceeding $300.

What you won't see is any private operator stepping up to develop and operate Fort Sheridan for the simple reason that it is a bad business deal. And Lake County, which is consistently losing money on 2 of its three other golf courses runs the risk of swamping the enterprise fund that finances their courses if Fort Sheridan were to be as big of a drag as these other two.

I would say it is far-sighted, not short-sighted, of the board to kick back and give some very serious thought to how they might resolve the poorly conceived public policy they have inherited. Sure its a raw deal, but this is a time for clear-eyed and brave political leadership to correct these near-term issues to avoid a longer term fiscal disaster.

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