The City of Little Rock will be shutting down operations at two golf courses within the next month.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Frank Scott Jr. approved a recommendation made by city staff to discontinue golf operations at War Memorial and Hindman parks. The move comes after Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department Director John Eckart recommended that the city repurpose the two golf courses.
Eckart says his recommendation is based on financial concerns. During the June 4 board of directors meeting, the board members voted to cut approximately $2.1 million in the city’s 2019 budget. At the time, the board members agreed to look into closing two of the city’s golf courses, which would be determined at a later date.
According to figures obtained by the Arkansas Times, golf constitutes the vast majority of revenue for Little Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department. In 2019, the budgeted expenditures for the entire department was $13,659,362, and the projected revenues was $2,306,135. While golf activities were projected to cost $2,141,314, the projected revenue was $1,379,860.
In contrast, the “Parks Activities” line item cost $10,662,574 and only brings in approximately $481,775, and the Jim Daily Fitness & Aquatic Center is projected at $885,474 in expenses and $444,500 in revenue.
Supporting the four golf courses cost around $2.6 million in 2018 and generated $1.4 million in revenue, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The final days of operation for Hindeman Park’s golf course is June 28, and War Memorial’s final day will be July 4.