DEP AWARDS MANAGEMENT OF SPRING MEADOW TO JOINT VENTURE
(11/P38) TRENTON - Commissioner Bob Martin announced today that a joint venture of Linx Golf Management of Shrewsbury and H&L Golf Course Maintenance Co. of Brick will assume management and operation next month of the Spring Meadow Golf Course, an 18-hole DEP-owned public course located in Wall Township in Monmouth County.
Bringing in a professional golf management team will enhance revenues at Spring Meadow while allowing DEP personnel employed at the golf course to be reassigned to other necessary tasks in our State Parks, said Commissioner Martin.
"Putting Spring Meadow in the hands of golf professionals, to run it and market the operation, is a common sense decision,'' said Commissioner Martin. "It allows us to better use our fiscal resources and personnel to deal with forestry, fish, and wildlife issues in our parks and natural areas, and to be able to afford to keep all of our State Parks and natural areas open.''
Under terms of the five-year deal, with an option for a five-year renewal, Linx/H&R must pay the State an annual fee of $130,000, to be increased 3 percent each year. Also, it must pay 15 percent of total gross revenues that exceed $1 million annually to the Department, and will be responsible for future marketing and commercial development of the golf course.
Linx/H&R, one of five groups to submit proposals to the DEP, is expected to take over operations at Spring Meadow in mid-April.
Spring Meadow is the only one of four golf courses on DEP land that is run by the Department, which sought to divest itself of direct management of Spring Meadow as part of a comprehensive effort to reconsider how it manages and finances its entire State Park system.
Governor Christie's Privatization Task Force last May specifically targeted the Spring Meadow operation as a prime example of the benefits of turning over some government operations to private enterprise. It suggested that bringing in businesses with golf industry experience to replace government management of golf courses in New Jersey, through long-term leases of these taxpayer owned properties, could generate needed revenues to help finance the State's park system.
Spring Meadow Golf Course and driving range was acquired by the DEP in the 1970s through the Green Acres Program and has been operated by the Department since then. Private companies manage the three other golf courses owned by the Department: Centerton Golf Course at Parvin State Park in Pittsgrove, Cream Ridge Golf Course in Upper Freehold Township, and White Oaks Country Club in Newfield.
Linx and H&L have significant experience managing all aspects of golf courses, including previous joint ventures. Linx has provided golf course management and golf-related services for 15 years, while H&L has been a full service golf course maintenance company for more than 36 years.
The two firms currently jointly manage Westlake Golf & Country Club in Jackson.
For a copy of the DEP's RFP for Spring Meadow Golf Course and facts about the course, visit: www.njparksandforests.org/parks/business_ops/current_leases.htm