Cranberry Valley Fees Finally Set For 2024

by William F. Galvin
The select board on Monday night approved the 2024 fees for Cranberry Valley Golf Course. FILE PHOTO The select board on Monday night approved the 2024 fees for Cranberry Valley Golf Course. FILE PHOTO

HARWICH – After a canceled meeting and a second hearing at which a select board quorum could not be reached, the board on Monday finally approved a 2024 fee schedule for Cranberry Valley Golf Course.

The recommendations by Director of Golf Roman Greer included an increase in the resident adult annual pass by $50 to $910, and retaining the $25 fee for the Golf Improvement Fund (GIF). The non-resident adult annual pass will see a $100 increase to $1,260 with a $25 GIF contribution. The young adult resident annual pass will also go up $50 to $610.

New this year is a Harwich resident greens fee of $50 for 18 holes.

The fee for local residents recognizes the support local taxpayers provide to the golf course by offering the option to purchasing an annual pass. Nationally, this is the most common fee arrangement at a municipal golf course, according to Greer.

The new fees, he said, continue to prioritize residents by offering a resident daily green fee, discounted “pay-as-you-go” option for residents who may not play enough rounds to make the annual pass a value. The new fees continue to raise the rate on non-resident annual passes to a fair market value, Greer added.

“It’s difficult to predict the financial impact, but I expect a positive overall financial impact, as any amount of Harwich residents who choose the ‘play-as-you-go’ option over the annual pass will negatively affect annual pass revenues, but will positively affect greens fees,” said Greer.

If there is a significant number of residents who choose the greens fee option, Greer said, the tee-time distribution can be altered between annual passholders and public play, which would include resident daily fee players, to keep an appropriate ratio and not negatively impact revenues, he said

“It’s fantastic,” said select board member Jeffrey Handler of the reduction for resident greens fee players from $85 to $50. Handler praised the work of Greer and his staff in the operation of the course. Cranberry Valley Golf Course generates 44,000 rounds of golf a year while private courses average 15,000 to 18,000 a year, he said.

“It’s wizardry what you do,” Handler said of Greer and his staff.

The new rates and fees will fund the golf department’s direct budgetary expenses, all current and future projects and debt, including the scheduled fiscal 2025 irrigation system upgrade, and indirect employee costs such as insurance insurance and Medicare, according to Greer.

The goals used in guiding the new rates were to increase general fund revenues to offset requested budget increases for fiscal 2025. The increases are primarily due to personnel cost increases, the result of collecting bargaining contracts, Greer said.

“Competitive market research among other Cape municipal facilities finds Cranberry Valley remaining appropriately placed in the marketplace with among the highest daily greens fees and the lowest cost for a resident annual pass, cart and range fees remain competitive as well,” he said.

The fees will continue accumulating funds in the Golf Improvement Fund in anticipation of a major irrigation system upgrade. Greer said the golf department is planning to pay 100 percent of the costs of the upgrade from the GIF.

Select board member Michael MacAskill said he was approached by a golfer with disabilities and wanted to know whether a disabilities rate could be put in place for cart rentals. The golfer can play only nine holes, MacAskill said.

The course has an agreement on fees with the company that provided the carts and he would reach out to them, Greer said. He doubted they would agree to a waiver of fees, but might consider a discount. Select Board Chair Julie Kavanagh said the board might be allowed to reduce the cost through the town’s earnings on cart rentals, adding she did not think there would be a lot of people seeking such a reduction. The board supported that approach.