Golf course holds up well despite tough economy - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Golf course holds up well despite tough economy

Ken Terao Ken Terao
James Otto James Otto

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

KAPOLEI (KHNL) - A golf course on West Oahu appears to hold the secret to surviving tough economic times. Despite the financial slowdown, business at the Kapolei Golf Course is up. And the golf course does very little advertising. The manager says, its secret to survival lies in its priorities.

Business at Kapolei Golf course hasn't taken a hit from the crumbling economy. Employees say numbers are up.

"About 8% up in player counts this year and revenues are about 10 to 15% up from last year. However, last year was our renovation year," said Golf Operations Manager Ken Terao.

Despite spending $16 million in renovations, the course has managed to avoid being in the hole, by making maintenance its top priority.

"I believe that cutting back on maintenance, which unfortunately, is what a lot of courses tend to do when the economy goes bad, is like slow death. Eventually, the course turns brown, the green starts dying, players stop coming," said Terao.

"It's gorgeous. It's probably one of the best I've played in Hawaii and I've tried to play them all, and I keep coming back here," said golfer, James Otto.

Despite a recent rate hike, golfers continue to play.

"It is on the high end but it's worth it," said Otto.

Even if the economy eventually takes a toll on the course, operators say the last thing they'd do is touch maintenance.

"If we do have to experience cuts, first place to not cut is maintenance. I would actually try to start focusing on how we can get our utility bills down," said Terao.

The philosophy to toughing it out there is to keep the course green in order to continue attracting green.

Staff members hold meetings every week, just to find brown spots or other needed fixes on the course.

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