BEVERLY -- The company that runs the city-owned Beverly Golf and Tennis Club is asking for permission to increase membership rates by $100.
Golf Facilities Management Inc. said it would be the first increase in 10 years and would allow the company to keep up with rising costs.
Under the proposal, an annual membership for a Beverly resident would increase from $2,100 to $2,200. The new rates for seniors ($2,000), young adults ($1,600), couples ($3,200) and families ($3,600) would also represent $100 increases.
Chris Carter of Golf Facilities Management said the club has actually fared pretty well during the pandemic, with more people than usual playing golf. He said the main reason for the increase is the hike in the minimum wage. Minimum wage was $8 per hour when the company first started running the club 11 years ago. It is now $12.75 and is scheduled to go up to $15 in 2023.
"Labor expenses have risen drastically and will continue for the next few years," Carter said.
Carter said his staff spends approximately 28,000 hours each season maintaining the property.
Golf Facilities Management has been managing the club since 2010. It currently pays the city $380,000 per year for the right to run the operation and keeps most of the revenue beyond that.
Annual gross revenue had remained fairly steady over the last 10 years through 2019, averaging about $1.5 million per year, according revenue figures provided by the city.
Carter said revenues stayed about the same in 2020. While there were more golfers, the club lost money by not being able to hold large functions.
"It was a challenging year, but it could've been a lot worse," he said.
Carter said the overall outlook for the club is healthy. The city is planning to spend an estimated $5 million to renovate and preserve the its historic clubhouse. Carter is hoping the people who returned to golf during the pandemic or were new to the game will keep playing.
"I think the people who hadn't played it in many years saw the benefit of a socially distanced sport, exercising, getting outside and appreciating the sport for what it is," he said.
The membership fee increase has been approved by the Beverly Golf and Tennis Club Commission but must still be approved by the City Council. Bill Lowd, the chairman of the commission, said the board agreed with Golf Facilities Management's reasons for seeking an increase.
"They've done a great job running the club," Lowd said.
Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2535, by email at email@example.com, or on Twitter at @heardinbeverly.
Membership rates at Beverly Golf and Tennis Club for Beverly residents
Individual $2,100 $2,200
Senior $1,900 $2,000
Young adult $1,500 $1,600
Couple $3,100 $3,200
Family $3,500 $3,600
* Proposed rates must be approved by City Council