“Though not opposed to the 9-hole hybrid golf course/public preserve option 2B as a concept, the City of Lake Forest is concerned with the timing of such a development in light of the current golf industry decline, potential impacts to existing golf facilities, lack of evidence of economic impact benefits, and overall economic climate.” – City of Lake Forest Manager Robert Keily Jr.
It has been clear from the beginning that Lake Forest was thoughtful, rational and prepared to serve on the Advisory Committee. Although represented on the committee by city manager Robert Kiely Jr, the Lake Forest Mayor James Cowhey showed up at one meeting to make an unambiguous statement that a low-priced 9-hole golf course would compete with and cannibalize business from their municipal golf course. And they understood that a high cost championship 18-hole course as originally envisioned was not in the cards. So they were not too keen on golf at Fort Sheridan.
At the closing meeting, Lake Forest delivered a position paper, prepared in advance, which thoughtfully (unlike the embarrassing ramblings of some other committee members), put a nail in the coffin of golf at Fort Sheridan.
Position Statement Regarding Fort Sheridan Golf from Lake Forest
“The City of Lake Forest appreciates the efforts of the Lake County Forest Preserve board and staff, as well as the contributions from the members of the Fort Sheridan Preserve Advisory Committee. We further acknowledge the unique challenges that have delayed the progress with developing this property to date and we recognize the many different constituents that are vested in seeing this property achieve its future potential.
Development of this site is one that will impact the use of the property for decades to come and the City of Lake Forest feels it is important that the decision is made at a time that provides the greatest opportunity for success and that is sustainable both financially and ecologically to meet the desires and needs of residents throughout Lake County.
Though not opposed to the 9-hole hybrid golf course/public preserve option 2B as a concept, the City of Lake Forest is concerned with the timing of such a development in light of the current golf industry decline, potential impacts to existing golf facilities, lack of evidence of economic impact benefits, and overall economic climate. The City of Lake Forest ‘s position is, therefore, that it is not fiscally prudent to move forward at this time with Option 2B and that the Lake County Forest Preserve District should look at immediate opportunities to enhance the property that would not, however, preclude future options such as a golf course or other significant recreation amenity.
The City of Lake Forest feels this phased development approach will best serve all interested constituents until such time as the economic climate is more conducive for making this enduring decision.”
–Robert Kiely Jr.