To open the restaurant and event center at the golf course on State Route 41 this season, the county is getting ready to accept bid proposals from businesses and individuals interested in operating the food and concession services.
The county promised to buy the restaurant, event center, and 10 acres of golf course land Feb. 6 after it was announced that the property would go up for auction. Additionally, 69.65 acres of golf course land were donated to the county by the Bryant family.
The Fayette County Commissioners — the contracting agency who bought the property in an agreement with the Community Improvement Corporation of Washington Court House — said the intent is to lease the restaurant and event center as one contract. A second contract will lease the golf course land to a third party to manage.
“It’s easier to mow and maintain if it’s run as a golf course this year,” said Dan Dean, Fayette County Commissioner, during Monday’s commissioner meeting.
A Request For Proposals contract (RFP) is being drafted by the county now, said Dean, for bids from businesses or individuals who are interested in operating the restaurant and event center. A public notice will be given in time for interested businesses and individuals to submit bids, but it’s going to happen quickly.
Dan Drake, assistant Fayette County prosecutor, is working now to draft the RFP contract for the restaurant and event center.
“We are attending to it urgently,” said Drake. “We hope to see formal solicitation to evaluate and have a contract to confirm in two weeks.”
Drake said the contract will allow the county to accept the proposal bids. The proposal accepted will allow the new business or individual running the restaurant and event center to hold a liquor license for a full service bar, offer catering, and use the clubhouse for private events.
Revenue from the contract to lease the restaurant and event center this year will be turned over to the park district as well, though the park district isn’t going to make any revenue from the day-to-day operations of the restaurant and event center.
The golf course, restaurant and event center were previously owned by the Bryant family. They turned it over to the county March 6.
In past years, Dean said the Bryant family contracted with Optimal Outdoor Solutions, LLC to manage the public membership golf course.
Now that ownership has transferred to the county, another contract is in the process of being drafted to allow the Fayette County Park District to continue to contract with Optimal Outdoor Solutions, LLC to manage the golf course this year.
Dean said the golf course contract will give Optimal Outdoor Solutions, LLC the ability to continue to use their business equipment for mowing the course, leasing the golf carts, applying insecticides and fertilizers, and maintaining the green spaces near the buildings.
The golf course has not generated a profit in recent years and Dean said the former owners were “just breaking even.”
In the contract being drafted for the management of the golf course business, Dean said the Fayette County Park District will receive a percentage of the money Optimal Outdoor Solutions, LLC makes from operating the golf course this year.
“The more people that participate the more likely it will survive as a golf course,” said Jack DeWeese, Fayette County Commissioner.
In the future the park district will be exploring a lot of different uses for the golf course, including establishing bird watching stations and an arboretum, said Dean, and eventually the Fayette County Park District may have their office in one of the buildings that are on the property.
“The Fayette County Park District has more in mind for it than a golf course,” Dean said.
Bid proposals for managing the golf course business are not being accepted this year because of time constraints, said Dean. With the official opening of golf season April 1, Dean said it was important to have the contract established to get the golf course operating this month, and Optimal Outdoor Solutions, LLC is already in place to begin immediately.
Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton