Fort Sheridan Golf Course Public Hearing

Both sides aired their views at a standing room only public hearing regarding the feasibility of re-developing the public golf course at Fort Sheridan, part of the Lake County Forest Preserves.  The public hearing is probably an opening salvo in further negotiations regarding the future development of this spectacular natural resource. Many issues were on the table including these:

Standing Room only at Greenbelt Cultural Center for Fort Sheridan Golf Course Public Hearing
Standing Room only at Greenbelt Cultural Center for Fort Sheridan Golf Course
  • Does Fort Sheridan become synonymous with a high end municipal golf course that draws golfers from the entire region to play at $120/round?
  • Will the anticipated 20,000 annual players retire to the bars and restaurants of Highwood pumping big bucks into this dining destination?
  • Will the jobs created offset the fact that local Highwood residents would have to spend 1% of the median household annual income for a family of four to play?
  • With local municipal courses losing money or scraping by, does another municipal course in a saturated market make sense?
  • Must Lake County be bound by agreements made 15 years ago regarding the game of golf?

How does this get decided?  What do you think?

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4 thoughts on “Fort Sheridan Golf Course Public Hearing

  1. Ed,

    You’re absolutely right. Subsidizing a golf course through public funds isn’t particularly high on my personal list. But perhaps that should be the public policy. If you can convince the Board, go for it. Arguments that jobs will be created or that golfers will fill the restaurants in Highwood are all public benefits. I don’t buy them. But then I haven’t been elected to anything other than taking out the recycling every week.

    Perhaps Highwood and Highland Park, who support this project, want to throw some capital and operating money into the pot. I mean Highland Park is subsidizing its present golf course to the tune of $750,000 over the last 6 years. Maybe they’re good for an additional subsidy to Ft. Sheridan. And perhaps Labor will agree to development cost concessions that materially affect the course re-creation. Anything is possible.

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  2. The risk of development or operating costs should not be held by the public.

    Couldn’t one make that assertion about almost any government-run operation anywhere? How is a golf course that the Forest Preserve already agreed to operate any different from a banquet facility at Independence Grove or any other LCFPD facility?

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  3. Bill,

    Regarding the cost of development, perhaps the supporters of the golf course would put up a bond to cover any mutually agreed overage. If you have truly valid data that supports your lower cost estimates, you should be able to get insurance to cover your bet. It’s a little out of the box, but not that far.

    The risk of development or operating costs should not be held by the public.

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