Salt Lake City's eight golf courses ( Mountain Dell has 36 holes) are not underwritten by the municipality's general fund and must support themselves. The annual budget of about $8 million is enough to keep them operating barely.
"The golf fund pretty much operates on a break-even basis," Graham said. "Revenue generated just covers operating expenses."
But the city courses need about $20 million in deferred maintenance, he noted. "We are struggling to find funding for those projects."
A worst-case scenario for Wingpointe would be a dramatic jump in the lease, Graham said. "Once that information is produced and a value is determined, we will have to deal with it."
Mayor Ralph Becker met with federal transportation officials this week in Washington, D.C., in an effort to minimize the financial impact on the city's golf fund from a potential lease increase, said David Everitt, the mayor's chief of staff.
"We won't have to close down Wingpointe in the coming weeks," Everitt said. "But we don't know what the final decision will be on the lease."
An appraisal of the land for leasing will be conducted in the coming weeks, he said.
The topic surfaced recently with radio host Jeff Waters on his "Talkin' Golf" show on KFNZ 1320 AM.
In a Salt Lake Tribune interview, he lamented that there had been no public notice on a potential closure of Wingpointe. "They are considering closing a very valuable resource with no public input."
Wingpointe holds an important place among the area's golf courses for a number of reasons, including its design, said Bill Walker, executive director of the Utah Golf Association.
"Obviously, we hope it does not close," he said. "But if it were to close, it would have an impact on hundreds of golfers having to find a new home."
Beyond that, Wingpointe is a valuable asset to Salt Lake City and its visitors, he said. "It offers convenience for people coming in from out of town."