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Troon Post Mortem – HSVPOA

By Tom Blakeman, December 26, 2019

Our Village Digest email has announced the ending of the Hot Springs Village relationship with Troon effective December 31.  To quote the announcement: “We wish to thank the entire Troon team for their professional partnership.”

Really?  Is that all there is?  Do we not have anything else to thank them for?

 Our contract with Troon began in 2014.  The deal was announced with great fanfare and high expectations.  Among the promises: Great savings in bulk purchases of equipment, fertilizers, pesticides and materials; brand identity; increased membership value; and access to management resources. 

On August 26, 2014, The Village Voice reported and quoted:

Board of HSVPOA – “unanimously- and enthusiastically- approved” [the deal].

David Twiggs – “We are extremely pleased to become part of the Troon family of destinations.  Hot Springs Village committed to changing business models in 2013 when I was brought in to restructure the 26,000-acre community into both a leading tourism destination and a great place to live, work and play.”

John Paul (outgoing Golf Director) – “We don’t have the marketing budget – or the expertise – and Troon can do more in 30 days than we can do in a year.”

Keith Keck (board President) – “Partnering with the leader in the golf management world definitely opens a new chapter for Hot Springs Village golf.”

So, what happened?  Since 2014: Golf green fees have gone up 18% (annual player) and 20% (daily player).  Daily cart rental fee has gone up 24%. Total golf rounds declined from 247,000 to 217,000 (2018) and will be less than 210,000 for 2019.  That’s about a 15% decline. Losses skyrocketed from $1.53 million in 2014 to $1.84 million in 2018 and are already at $1.6 million as of November 2019.  We have a new ‘surcharge’ of $2.50 per round taking effect in 2020 with no idea how it will impact anything. Last, but not least, we have one golf course needing a $4 to $7 million re-do (depending on how you do the numbers) and other courses waiting in the wings.  Wow!

Funny thing.  No one I know has a clue how much the Troon contract cost us or how much, if in any way, it saved or helped us.  It would appear to have been a colossal failure. 

Isn’t it time for our POA to calculate and publish a reconciliation of this project?  Maybe they have one but they aren’t telling?

If the facts are not known how will we (they) keep from making such a big mistake again?

HSVPOA Village Digest announces end of Troon relationship

By Tom Blakeman, December 26, 2019

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