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It was a blustery day at the Wingpointe Golf Course just south of Salt Lake City International Airport, and by most accounts, the last day the links recognized as among Utah's best will be open.
Despite the wind, Sunday brought out golfers who wanted to play one more round on the 25-year-old course before it was retired to history.
For enthusiast Kristen Treanor, it was a "super sad" day.
Many, like Treanor, don't know what will become of the 270-acre course.
"I don't think it's a good idea to close it," she said. "It seems crazy to take a nice area and leave it to become nothing."
Wingpointe's closure and that of the Jordan River Par 3 came after two-and-a-half years of City Council discussion and four reports centered around how to get Salt Lake City's golf enterprise fund out of the red. Presently, the independent golf fund is running a $1.5 million deficit and has racked up about $24 million in deferred maintenance. It gets no money from the general fund and must support itself on green fees and cart rentals.
In fiscal years 2009-2011, an average of 58,300 nine-hole rounds were played at Wingpointe. In 2011, the course costs exceeded its revenues by $141,020.
Also on the City Council's list to close is Glendale Golf Course, slated to be transformed into a regional park. It will remain open, however, until a funding mechanism is found for the makeover.
Among the City Council's reasons for closing Wingpointe is an edict from the Federal Aviation Administration that the Salt Lake City Department of Airports get fair market value for the land, which it leases to Salt Lake City. That could be anywhere from $55,000 to $155,000 per year.
When it opened in 1991, the city had a 99-year agreement with what was then called the Airport Authority to lease the land at $1 per year.
Salt Lake City attorney Pat Shea, who chaired the airport board when Wingpointe was created, chalked the closure up to politics.
"It's too bad the political winds of disinformation are closing down this facility," he said. "Long-term agreements in Salt Lake City are like pie crusts they are made to be broken."
Shea said the city has $8 million invested in Wingpointe.
The FAA appraised it at $2 million.
Golfer Nick Stergiopoulos, too, wondered what happened to the 100-year lease.
"I'm going to miss this course tremendously," he said. "It's a huge bummer."
For 24 years, Lynn Landren has been the pro at Wingpointe. For him, Sunday brought with it a deep-felt disappointment.
"It's really sad," he said. "I wanted to hand the reins to this place over to some young pro instead of a guy on a bulldozer."
Nonetheless, Landren is proud of the links. "It's been a good run," he said. "This golf course has always been recognized as one of the best in Utah. You can't find a bad hole on this course."
Golfer Gene Arnold said Wingpointe added a lot to the Salt Lake City golf system.
"It's too bad. This group of guys played here every Friday," he said. "And this is a great venue for the winter months. There aren't many places you can play in February."
Seasonal Wingpointe employee Quentin Sasser, who belongs to the PGA of Utah, began his golfing career at Wingpointe. For him, closing the course makes no sense.
"It's bogus they are talking about fair market value of swamp land?" he said. "That's a bunch of B.S."
The Department of Airports has determined not to operate or lease the golf course, said spokeswoman Bianca Shreeve. The department has also made no official statement on what will become of the acreage.