Abbotsford seeking new ideas for Ledgeview

Wants input, investors, to discover if city-owned golf course could become self-sufficient.

Recent financial difficulties at Ledgeview Golf Course have city officials looking for new ideas.

Abbotsford  has issued a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) in the hope of exploring new options for the city-owned golf course.

The document states a private operator may be chosen to take over the course on a long-term lease. Developers are also invited to put forward ideas on how to improve the 2.5-acre clubhouse lands.

However, the McKee Road golf course itself is not up for development.

Currently, the Ledgeview Golf Society runs the course for the city. Earlier this year, the society asked council for $250,000 in assistance due to recent financially tough years. The city agreed to $115,00 in funding.

The society has three years left on its current lease.

City manager Frank Pizzuto said it was made clear then that council wanted to examine all its options.

“Is there somebody out there that believes they can do something different that will make the facility more successful?” he asked.

He called the move a first step to see who may be interested in making a financial commitment.

“We’re looking for somebody who might be a partner, who might invest some dollars to rebuild some facilities.”

Pizzuto said any ideas would have to contain a business case. It could mean creating a restaurant, banquet hall, a place to host weddings or other proposals.

“We want Ledgeview to be self-supporting and we’ll look at some proposals that might make it so.”

He said the city doesn’t want to support the facility financially.

Once the city has examined the expressions of interest, they may choose to take the next step and issue a request for proposals. They could also decide to renegotiate the agreement with the current society.

Pat Differ, president of the Ledgeview Golf Society, said his group is aware of the RFEI.

While he hopes to continue his relationship with the city, Differ said he understands why input is being sought.

He said like all golf courses, Ledgeview has been through some tough times recently. However, he feels the society has had a long and successful business relationship with Abbotsford.

“We’re more than anxious to continue, and hope to.”

Differ said it is in the best interest of everybody to find the right solution, as long as it remains a golf course.