A major shake-up might be in store for Portland’s Glendoveer

Updated: August 31, 2011

By Brad Faller, PGA
Special to Inside Golf Newspaper
Plans for change are evident at Portland’s Glendoveer Golf Course, but just what kind of changes are what have some area golfers up in arms. The future of Glendoveer lies in the hands of Portland Metro, who own the 36-hole, east Portland facility.

Current operations are leased to Joe Hickey of Glisan Street Recreation, but will see their over 30-year lease expire in 2012. For Hickey, the question is what will happen to the golf facility once Portland Metro is back in control. “I don’t really know what their intention is,” says Hickey. The current lease includes revenue sharing from green fees, with tennis and driving range concessions going to Hickey.

Drastic changes are not necessarily on the horizon, but certainly not out of the question. Speculation on these changes includes reducing the total holes to 27 and/or removing the indoor tennis facility in lieu of an event space or golf cart storage facility. Talks have also included the development of green space to go along the heavily-used, 2-mile fitness trail surrounding the two courses.

The only sure bet at this point is that Portland Metro will open the door to new lease options. As recent as July, a facility assessment and business plan project has been underway to figure out what needs to happen in order to prepare for a fair and competitive process to develop and award a new contract to operate the facility starting in 2013. “Before Metro puts the contract out for competitive bids, it needs to know what Glendoveer’s future holds,” says Metro Councilor Barbara Roberts. “And for that you’ve got to examine every part of the property.”

As the number of rounds—and consequently revenue—have decreased, pressure has mounted on what is in the best interests of Portland Metro. The loss of income has certainly been a hot topic, as well as the rising cost of the much needed improvements to the facility. Estimates range from $1 to $4 million for necessary repairs.

Glendoveer is not short on support in keeping the popular golf course the way it is. A recent open house forum has helped current users express their concerns to the possible changes, including a petition that had over 6,000 signatures just days after the forum.