Dear Friends and Media,

KVIA has reported that the award-winning Butterfield Trail Golf Club, which opened in 2007, has been subsidized by the City of El Paso every year since 2008. Yesterday it was widely announced that the club has closed permanently. See also the report by Vic Kolenc of the El Paso Times and the report by KTSM. This financial failure follows the termination of the insolvent streetcars and the $100+ million deal with Great Wolf Lodge, and there will likely be more failures to come. 

All the local media are reporting that the club was losing approximately $1 million every year, but a review of the City of El Paso FY 2020 Budget Book seems to indicate that the losses were double that figure.

The Club falls under the City’s aviation budget, and on page 151 we learn that expenditures on that project have averaged $3.2 million per year over the last five fiscal years. On page 112, we read about three streams of revenue from the Club–course green fees, Pro Shop sales, and driving range fees–and together these have averaged $1.2 million per year over the last five years. I can find no other revenue streams from the Club listed in the budget book. I have heard that their events have been outsourced to an outside firm and I cannot find a corresponding revenue figure.

Thus, it seems that the Butterfield Trail Golf Club has actually lost $2 million per year over the last five years. I could be wrong, but I cannot find anything in the budget book to lead me to think otherwise, and I have checked and re-checked.

Maybe the media should re-check as well.