March 15, 2013

Open house to explain upgrades to Portland golf course

By Randy Billings
Staff Writer

PORTLAND -- The city will host an open house at Riverside Golf Course on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explain its efforts to improve the course.

The city had contracted the National Golf Foundation Consulting to examine operations at the course, which has been losing money in recent years.

The NGF recommended the city either make investments into the course -- including $1.1 million in clubhouse upgrades -- as a public amenity, or lease operations to a private company.

On Thursday, City Manager Mark Rees told the City Council's Finance Committee the city would continue operating the course.  

The city plans to better market the course; implement more youth programs; hire a professional golfer; and build a new club house on the South Course. Renovations are already underway at the North Course clubhouse.

The city also plans to launch a mobile app so golfers can book tee times, view a flyover of the course; track scores and remotely order a snack in the course restaurant. 

City Hall spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the new initiatives total $548,000.

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