By HEATHER ROBERTS
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
Redmond’s Juniper Golf Course has plans to offer guests much more than a round of golf.
The municipal course has long been a strain on the city’s finances and for the last several years, city leaders have tried to expand Juniper’s appeal by promoting The View Restaurant and other amenities to even non-golfers.
And a proposed outdoor pavilion could appeal to a whole new audience.
“We’ll be making a decision, about a year from now, whether we should create a separate external venue on golf course property that could hold a couple hundred people, and be able to be a location for weddings, for large-scale, special events,” said Redmond City Manager Keith Witcosky.
It could rival similar outdoor venues found elsewhere in Central Oregon, like Black Butte Ranch, but would be a first for Redmond.
As part of a new five-year contract with the management firm Course-Co, the city has asked for a feasibility study, to determine whether there’s a market for a pavilion … and how big it should be.
Witcosky says they also need to nail down the total cost.
“So, we have to figure that out; we have to figure out who would pay for what, and get a sense too, of the revenues,” he said. “We want to do something that’s going to make a profit and is going to be a good business center rather than another debt expense at the golf course.”
Long-time club member Elton Gregory wants to make sure the city gets a return on its investment.
“I know they’re trying to line up the payment of this facility off and, if that’s one of the concepts that would help them do that, then I’m all for it,” Gregory said.
But, not everyone agrees.
“I wish they would look at what they have, which is a world-class facility, and maximize the positive sides of that, which is the golf experience and afterwards the dining experience,” said Redmond resident JT Brumbly.
The new Course-Co contract includes $80,000 for a pavilion, if its deemed feasible. If not, that money would be used for other course improvements.