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Grand Marais Recreation Park numbers continue to rise

Aug 08, 2017 11:15AM ● Published by Editor


By Brian Larsen of The Cook County News Herald

Just when park manager Dave Tersteeg thought the Grand Marais Recreation Park had hit its peak, he found out otherwise.

“After doing July’s numbers I found that we continue to grow,” Tersteeg told the park board at the board’s August 1 meeting. “We finished at $281,440, up $21,000 (8 percent) versus July, 2016. This pushes our year-to-date revenue to $707,399, up $50,000 (7.7 percent) versus 2016,” added Tersteeg.

The recent sailboat race that started in the harbor on Saturday, July 29 and ended the next morning in Thunder Bay went off without a hitch, Tersteeg said. Ten boats entered the competition sponsored by the Thunder Bay Yacht Club. The winner finished the 77-mile race in about 16 hours. As the harbor master, Tersteeg brought out some buoys to use as a starting line for the boats. “They were great to work with. They plan on coming back next year,” he said. 

All three of the July events held in Harbor Park “were well executed and benefitted from beautiful weather. The Arts Festival, North Shore Water Festival, and Stars of the North Music Festival all attracted lively crowds and benefitted the host sponsors,” Tersteeg said.
Following the closing of the three-day North Shore Music Festival, Tersteeg told the park board, “Harbor Park was left in perfect shape. There wasn’t litter of any kind left anywhere. That’s a real tribute to their volunteers.” 
Golf report
Gunflint Hills golf course manager Mike Kunshier said that July 2017 revenues were $78,419, up a little over July 2016 earnings of $77,898.
Last year 87 season passes were sold and this year, 86 to date. “I don’t expect that to change much at all. We got some new people this year, but some who purchased passes in the past either had health problems or just decided not to come back and play. Overall the numbers are flat,” he said.

Tristan Bockovich, a high school junior who was hired to work on the golf course this summer, has been a bright spot. “Tristan is an outstanding worker. I hope he returns next season,” Kunshier said. 

City budget planning
All of the drafts of the parks, marina, and golf budgets are due to the city by August 7 for preliminary review by the city council the week of the August 14 meeting. Tersteeg told the board that the 2018 revenue projections for the park and marina would consider the sustained trend of stable/ increasing occupancy, along with marginal rate adjustments on 2017 rates.
“As a starting point for discussion, we are suggesting a three percent increase in the 2017 budget revenue numbers. Those include an increase in expenses like labor costs and other marginal increases to utilities, bank fees, and operational costs. Our capital allocations remain healthy at $145,000 that is dedicated to our fund balances.”

Two graphs showing the trend lines in growth over the last 10 years illustrated Tersteeg’s point. In 2007 the park brought in $666,304. By 2016, park revenues were up to $1,125,000. In 2007, for the six months the park was open to occupancy, it was 40 percent occupied. By 2016 it was 56 percent occupied for the same six-month period. 

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