It appears that the City of Tallahassee is in the business of driving down golf prices in Tallahassee.
At the last Tallahassee City Commission meeting, the new City Manager, Rick Fernandez, assured elected officials that the practice of not allowing businesses to participate in City sponsored events because they compete with a City service, would end.
The issue arose when a local gymnastic business, Gym Force, was told they could not participate in the City’s Winter Festival because they competed with services provided by Trousdell Gymnastics & Aquatics Center. See full report here.
However, shortly after that statement, the City Manager told the City Commission that he was proud that the golf program at Hilaman “has driven prices in Tallahassee for the golf community way down. The average golf round today is about half what it was five years ago. We’re extremely proud of that…”
Local owners of golf clubs told TR they are concerned with the pricing at Hilaman, especially with the recent downturn in the economy and the struggling golf market.
One golf course owner said, “it is not helpful to have a golf course run by a City with enormous resources that is interested in driving prices down. We have enough challenges as it is.”
The issue of the City of Tallahassee pricing services below market value came up with the gymnastics story.
Owners of dance studios and gyms told Tallahassee Reports they had to keep prices lower because of the service offered by the City. These owners said the City prices for gymnastics and dance classes were below what they considered sustainable for a private company.
“The City subsidizing their services with my tax dollars has hurt my business,” said one owner.