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Amherst’s Cherry Hill Golf Course posts sunny fiscal quarter

  • Frontier’s Kyle Maynard watches his tee shot on No. 8 during their match against Chicopee Comp on Wednesday afternoon at Cherry Hill Golf Course in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE



Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 27, 2019

AMHERST — After years of declining revenues at the town-owned Cherry Hill Golf Course, the operation posted its best quarter since 2014.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman said that revenues for the nine-hole public course on Montague Road were up 21 percent between July 1 and Sept. 30 over the same quarter in 2018. The increase meant an additional $16,031 in revenue.

“Weather was really good,” Bockelman remarked.

What also helped, he said, was the feeling that Hickory Ridge, the ​​​​​​West Pomeroy Lane golf course that could be sold to the town once its current owners get the go-ahead for a solar project on the site, has been in a slow demise.

After the first quarter last year, Cherry Hill took in $59,965, according to a report Comptroller Sonia Aldrich presented to the Select Board.

Leisure Services and Supplemental Education Director Barbara Bilz concurred with Bockelman’s assessment of why revenue was up.

“I agree with the town manager that Hickory Ridge’s closing had some impact on this, as well as the great course conditions and the fair weather we have from July to September,” Bilz said. 

The course closed for the season Nov. 7 and will reopen in the spring, though it will be open again for the finale of WinterFest.

Although the quarter provided a rosier-than-usual picture, at the end of fiscal year 2019, the town golf course had gross receipts of $170,207, just 74.8 percent of its $227,638 budget, and total receipts were down 10.4 percent from the previous fiscal year. That meant a shortfall of $57,431.

This was mainly due to a wet spring and golf participation rates that continue to decline at both the regional and national levels.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.