The Cedar Hill golf course’s money-losing restaurant will remain closed, and will be replaced with the light snack service currently operating on the ground floor.
The decision by Saanich comes in the wake two independent public consultations and an analysis of the business over the spring and early summer.
“Operationally, it’s not going to work to have two types of food service,” said Doug Henderson, director of Saanich parks and recreation.
“The idea is to try and capture the best that building can offer by moving the existing food service upstairs.”
Some golfers will be pleased to use the upstairs area of the clubhouse, while others will perhaps feel inconvenienced by walking up the two sets of stairs to get there, Henderson noted.
The majority of the 450 people who responded to a survey on the future of the clubhouse indicated they wanted some kind of food service on the upper level. About 18 per cent of respondents indicated they’d like to see the return of the full restaurant.
The surveys revealed that most of the respondents didn’t often use the full-service restaurant – either every few months or once or twice per year.
People were also unhappy with the speed and secrecy surrounding council’s decision to close the restaurant in February this year.
Last year, the golf course wracked up a $820,000 deficit. Of that, $420,000 was from the full-service restaurant, before it was closed.
A Chemistry Consulting analysis doubted the full-service, restaurant, staffed with union employees, could return to profitability. Reopening it entails “significant financial risk,” the report said.
Saanich will shift existing licenced “grab and run” light food service to the upper level toward the end of this year or early in 2013 following completion of the deck restoration work.
“There’s some level of confidence that the move that will be made to improve access to the upstairs area is going to breathe some new life and hopefully satisfy the desires of some of the folks who were involved in the process,” Henderson said.
“We’re certainly going to do everything possible to make it as convenient as possible.”
See the District of Saanich website saanich.ca under Community Engagement to see the full consultant reports.