Thursday, March 26, 2009

Std-Ex: Condos, Hotel May Be Part of Golf Course

Boss Godfrey's Mt. Ogden Golf Course boondoggle projected to cost "somebody" $70 million

By Monotreme

Wonderful and timely article on the golf course proposal in this morning's Standard-Examiner.

Luckily, I had a week's warning that it was coming thanks to WCF.

Two quick thoughts:

1. Only in some sort of alternate universe do we save money by spending $70M. Our mayor asserts that no Ogden taxpayer funds are on the hook, but this is at odds with what is said elsewhere in the article.

2. The Std-Ex continues its "policy" of not asking actual questions of city officials. Let me make this plain. If the city's chief administrator claims that "he doesn't know" how much was spent on the marketing study for the hotel/condo, then either: a) he is lying or b) he is incompetent. It's really as simple as that. If a), it's unacceptable because these are my tax dollars at "work". If b), it's unacceptable because these are my tax dollars at "work". Mr. Schwebke, it is your responsibility to find out how much was spent. Editorial Board, it's your responsibility to point out the folly of this proposal in your editorial pages, and strongly denounce the second-grade stonewalling tactics used by Mr. Peterson. If he's going to lie and say "he doesn't know", then ask, "Hey, could you look that up and get back to me?" If he doesn't, then put his feet to the fire.

Ed. Note: For the convenience of our readers, we've uploaded a map graphic from the Std-Ex Digital Edition, showing Boss Godfrey's proposed changes, in relationship to the existing course. (Click image to enlarge.)


summers eve said...

Same old horse crap coming from the Godfrey ring of thieves.
Way too many coulds and possibles.

The 350-unit condo/hotel complex could be built in several phases by a major resort company like Marriot

200 condominiums that could be sold for $157,000 to $400,000 each

The city could receive $6 million to $8 million needed to fund the golf course improvements through a portion of the proceeds from the sale of timeshare units

Godfrey said he's impressed that the committee has developed a strategy for funding redesign work at Mount Ogden Golf Course.

I don’t understand how Godfrey could be impressed with the committee's recommendations; after all they are all of his pipe dreams.

And the beat keeps going on.

Moroni McConkie said...

Monotreme writes, "Only in some sort of alternate universe do we save money by spending $70M. Our mayor asserts that no Ogden taxpayer funds are on the hook, but this is at odds with what is said elsewhere in the article."

If the church ever sees fit to release Little Matt from his calling as mayor, he should think about writing his memoirs, or better yet, writing fiction. But I repeat myself.

Little Matt is a classic unreliable narrator. What a novelist he would make.

Curmudgeon said...

As I recall, Godfrey's Folly [aka the flatland gondola] wasn't going to cost the taxpayers a dime either when first announced. That didn't last long. Neither will this latest pipe dream.

It seems clear now that the Mayor's pet "golf course improvement committee" was in fact the FOM Benchlands Development Committee [Phase II].

OgdenLover said...

Gee, even in Matt's alternate universe losing $250K/year (a number open to debate) on the current golf course is chickenfeed compared to $70,000,000.

In case that's not clear, to put it in proportion, it would take 280 years of "losing" $250K/year to accrue $70M.

This is nothing more than a variation of the Chris Peterson plan disguised in sheep's clothing. All these "coulds" pointed out by summers eve sound a lot like the River Project, don't they?

Once again Godfrey's megalomania is running rampant with our hillside, our trails, and our money. Has no one told Godfrey that the real estate bubble has burst? Time shares? City Council, PLEASE protect us from this insanity!

althepal said...

"This is nothing more than a variation of the Chris Peterson plan disguised in sheep's clothing."


Peterson Plan, Part Deux!

Bill C. said...

In the minutes of the committee from Feb.11th the skipper has the project up to $124,000,000.. I wonder where the other 54 million is hiding?
Note, the official shortfall in 2008 is $112,000, if play remains at the same level with the recent fee increase that number will be cut in half. That coupled with adding enough carts to curb the loss of revenue on weekends puts the course close to breaking even.
Now if the mayor and his lackey band of naysayers would quit their aggressive decade long campain of negative advertizing and actually promote, or at least shut up, we'd be there.
Half assed halfpipes, hotels, condos and gondolas have no place in any serious discussion about a munincipal golf course.

blackrulon said...

I see this plan as a end run to push development on the east side. It appears to me that any improvements to the golf course are secondary to development. Will we have enough income from BDO to fund another money losing operation?

what will it cost us said...

No taxpayer money, but the city would need bridge financing for the infrastucture improvements. Give us real taxpayers a break, lower the water and sewer rates so we aren't paying for these developers dreams. Make them pay for the water, roads, schools whatever they will require. Seems like we are paying to upgrade the water tanks for this pipe dream.

The city putting in streets, curb, gutter, water and sewer at no cost for a developer, how does John Q Public get in on this deal.

Who will pay to move the Weber college buildings if, and this is a big if, the college agrees. A park in Strongs Canyon using RAMP funds, more smoke and mirrors. Re-locating the club house on 36th that has limited access on a curve distururbing the trails system, limited parking if approved.

When all of the condos and retail are sold/leased downtown maybe then would be a good time for another hotel to be planned with real financial data and firm not secret commitments.

With most of the commitees hand picked by the mayor and his suits it is time for the City Council to step up and not allow more city debt to be bonded. We need fiscal conservatives not spend, spend, spend with the current recession. Time shares are not a money makers.

I still don't see any signs directing players to the golf course as has been suggested many times. Golf carts upgraded and more available.

They could wipe out the golf course debt very easily, it is the cities duty to provide police, fire and recreation.

It is not to compete with private businesses to offer incentives, or use taxpayer monies for developers benefits. The city can't take any more money out of BDO funds to pay for another sweetheart deal for a private business.

Show me the return on investment the Junction has made for the city. We heard the same story from the same suits that the taxpayer wouldn't be responsable for the debts but we are paying $750K a year, over $350K for junctions repairs. Lets compare the golf course debts to the Junction debts, seems reasonable to me.

Tonight Thursday is teh Mayors call in show please call him and ask the hard questions.

Write the City Council and let them know your feelings, they hold the purse strings for the city.
$70M is just a starting point like all of the cities projects.

Anonymous Employee said...

When I was reading the article about the Gold's Gym on 12th street closing down this week it stated that Gary Nielsen owns the Flowrider. Wasn't Patterson's line of BS about the repairs actually being capital improvements? Capital improvements on a privately owned facility? Pretty sweet set up if you ask me.

Jan said...

I looked at the map, but couldn't see the gondola station. Anybody know where it will be?

Monotreme said...

Dan: It would appear that the option A you posted earlier most closely resembles the map released by Ogden City and published in today's S-E. Is that correct?

I was further disappointed that there was no mention of the relocation of campus buildings, the destruction of campus green space, and construction in the campus' "no-build" zone, all in contravention of the WSU statement that was inexplicably printed in the online edition but not in the dead tree edition.

It's as though the Ogden City administration had neither read nor understood the WSU statement, which I believe should have been pointed out in the article or at least been made more clear to the reader.

Monotreme said...

Re-reading the article and my comments above, I see I've made several errors which I want now to correct.

1. I cornfozzled the names of the golf course committee head, Mr. Peterson, and the city's chief administrative officer, Mr. Patterson. Still, my basic point remains the same: we need to know how much the marketing study cost. It's the S-E's job to find out.

2. There is a mention of the relocation of campus buildings, well down the article, but there is still no indication that the cost of the relocation has been included in the $70M price tag.

My apologies for these mistakes.

G'n'R lives said...

Bill C: I can't tell why you are so against these plans... is it because of environmental and economic issues? Or is it because you know 7200 yards is too long for your little game?... either way, Fat Cats would be happy to sell you a bowling pass...
J/K lol..

WhatWardRUin said...

I've had a two-way commute to SLC via Frontrunner to read and digest this plan. Let me see if I understand this. Godfrey paid, or otherwise engaged, Nicklaus Golf to design a new and "improved" MOGC. The plan includes condos to pay for said "improved" MOGC. Godfrey gives this plan to his "committee", which he had no involvement with, and comes up with a marketing plan to sell the condos to finance the "improved" MOGC. Since this is all Godfrey start to finish, what is the purpose of the "committee"? No wonder Godfrey is impressed with their findings and recommendation; it is his idea. I am not an accountant, but I don't see why you would use a highly speculative $120-million project to fund an even more speculative $8-million project. If you can't raise $8-million how is it you think that it will be easier to find $120-million for condos in this economic climate; especially given the less than robust sales of all the empty condos downtown. Does this have anything to do with that guy in Africa who has $100-billion dollars he can't access, but if we give him our account number he will give us $120-million for our trouble, then he will simply withdraw his otherwise inaccessible inheritance from our ghost account and we will all live happily ever after? Nice plan.

disgusted said...

i love this comment in the newspaper article
"The city would likely have to obtain bridge financing for infrastructure improvements for the hotel/condo complex." in other words we would be providing the financing for the development in the form of a loan or bond. how stupid does the mayor think we are to have his hand picked committee make the statement above and then have the gaul to back to back say,"I'm excited that they have come up with a solution that doesn't involve taxpayers footing the bill." yah we the city take all the project risk and we the city provide the financing for the project and the developer gets all the up side if the deal worked. typical godfrey deal.

i like this as well
"The city paid for a marketing research study for the hotel/condo project, but Petersen said he didn't know how much that study cost." (who would hire a study not knowing what it would cost unless he wasnt the one that had it done which then leads you to believe that the outcome was predetermined)and this statement "A marketing research study that will be presented to the city council next month has determined the complex would likely be successful, Petersen said."
my question is did the city council know the city was spending this money. were they asked to approve this expediture or was it just godfrey doing what godfrey does again. same goes for the cost of the trips for all of the members to look at different courses around the country. i thought this was a citizen committee not a city sanctioned committee with a city budget. council should ask how much the study and trips cost and what department paid for the study. were the dollars spent over the limits allowed without notification of the council as i suggest.
council should not give this committee any more credibilty than the number of citizens and individuals that have been trying to help the city on this issue for a while now but without the mayors backing.

also on another topic the city council should be able to review the financials of the fat cats contract. per the annual financial statement the contract has clauses in it that require the tenant to pay higher rents should certain financial threshholds be achieved. as such the city should be reviewing fat cats contract annually to see if the city is entitled to higher rent revenues. council should have access to those returns to help them better understand the finances of the city when it comes to annual budgets.

Rebel With a Cause said...

Jan: The clubhouse at 36th Street is intended to serve the double purpose of a gondola station in the sneaky, dream plan.

G'n'R lives: And any wise and prudent person should consider it foolishness to redesign a golf course in order to move the club house. (the real reason for such a devious, costly, and unnecessary undertaking.)

not fooled said...

A hotel at the top of 36th Street???? Who is going to stay at that hotel? All of the out of state WSU parents coming for football games??? Out of state golfers coming to play the new and improved MOGC??? How on earth could a marketing research team conclude this hotel would be a success??? Unless they were factoring some other things into their research, things not mentioned at all in this article, like a gondola from the hotel to the top of Mt Ogden. I really would like to see how this research team came up with its #s. Hopefully that will be discussed at the April 9th Council work session.

ozboy said...

"mayor asserts that no Ogden taxpayer funds are on the hook"

This is the very same lie the Lil Lord told repeatedly over several years about the Junktion! The subject of the public's financial involvement with the proposed Junk pile came up a big number of times in a big number of council meetings and work sessions and every time the Lil Lord assured all within ear shot that the pile of crap would never never never cost the tax payers a dime! The lyin little piece of crap!

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