SALT LAKE CITY — Many golfers were upset when Wingpointe Golf Course closed its doors last year, but now a deal between Salt Lake City and Salt Lake International Airport could have them teeing off in the near future.
Nearly a million dollars in the hole, golf courses in Salt Lake City, including Wingpointe, couldn’t stay afloat and were shut down in 2015. At that time, city leaders wanted to transfer Wingpointe over to Salt Lake International Airport. They felt it would put them in a better position to negotiate lease terms with the Federal Aviation Administration.
“It was more like a Hail Mary pass. It was a last ditch effort, really, to try to keep that course open,” said Charlie Luke, Salt Lake City Council member.
Luke says then-Mayor Ralph Becker didn’t want to go that route, but current Mayor Jackie Biskupski is showing some interest.
“Now with the new administration, hopefully, we'll see it open up again," Luke said.
Pat Shea, an attorney and former member of the Airport Advisory Board, applauds Biskupski’s vision.
“I think she sees it as an opportunity for the airport, which has 16 million visitors a year spending time as they're waiting hitting golf balls or looking at the scenery," Shea said.
Shea says now that the airport operates the golf course, the FAA may be more willing to drop its demands for a fair-market value.
“This golf course was designed by Arthur Hill, who was a golf legend in terms of golf architecture. We need to preserve that as an entry point into Salt Lake City," Shea said.
Luke is hopeful the re-opening of Wingpointe can help bring other courses back online.
“There are still issues with secondary water in order to make sure in the long-term Wingpointe and other golf courses are self-sustaining and able to operate,” Luke said.
If both parties can iron things out by this fall, they may be able to open Wingpointe by next spring. Luke is pushing for an earlier opening.