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HAMILTON – With other major Canadian cities clearing an average of more than $366,000 from their golf course operations last year, there’s no reason why the City of Hamilton can’t do the same, says the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). Currently, the city-owned golf courses and Chedoke Winter Sports Park are losing money and providing a rationale for the city to turn over operation of the facilities to the Hamilton Conservation Authority. CUPE 5167 represents city employees who work at the facilities. A recent CUPE survey of Canadian municipal golf courses staffed with CUPE members showed that, on average, they provided more than $366,000 in profit to their municipalities in 2002. The cities surveyed included Brantford, Burlington, Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa, St. Catharines, Toronto, Windsor, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Winnipeg. It also showed that the City of Toronto continues to make a profit on its ski facilities. “Until very recently, the Chedoke and King’s Forest golf courses generated revenue for the City of Hamilton,” says CUPE 5167 President Gus Oliveira. “We believe that these golf courses could return to being profitable enterprises and that Chedoke Winter Sports Park has the potential to achieve self-sufficiency.” Using the experience of members working at the facilities, CUPE 5167 made several recommendations for Chedoke ski hill, including: - Allow the facility to operate for the full season - Invest in facilities such as snowboarding that will improve attendance - Invest in proper snowmaking - Increase the use of discounts and other promotions - Include city staff, who are on modified work arrangements due to injury, as part of the ski hill staff complement - Maximize the profit potential of concessions through expansion and improved quality - Evaluate the ski hill’s full cost recovery mandate and recognize its social value as a public recreational facility. For Chedoke and King’s Forest golf courses, the union recommended: - Introducing a formula for fiscal stabilization into the golf course budgeting process - Investing in golf course capital improvements - Consulting with other municipalities about “best practices” - Instituting a process for worker input on the operations of the facility. -30- For more information, please contact: Gus Oliveira, President CUPE 5167 905-522-0917 Liam McCarthy, CUPE Research 613-237-1590