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Gurnee hires new Bittersweet golf course operator

Bittersweet Golf Club Gurnee. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

Bittersweet Golf Club, in Gurnee. | Joe Shuman~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 6, 2013 10:12AM

Gurnee officials approved a contract with an experienced golf management company Monday night to operate the village’s Bittersweet Golf Course over the next five years.

Trustees selected the firm of GolfVisions Management Inc., from five interested companies. The company operates 17 golf courses in the Chicago area with seven located in Lake and McHenry counties, including Gurnee’s HeatherRidge nine-hole course.

For the past two years, Bittersweet has been managed by Starbird Links.

The board approved compensation to GolfVisions of $33,000 annually for years one and two, and $36,000 annually for years three through five. An incentive package based upon improving gross revenue was also approved.

Village Administrator Patrick Muetz told trustees a select committee of experienced golfers well familiar with the course and its facilities assisted staff in obtaining and screening qualified proposals.

“Staff is confident that GolfVisions has the expertise to build upon recent improvements at the course and take the course to the next level,” Muetz said.

Timothy Miles Sr., president of GolfVisions, told trustees his company has many productive years of experience in operating local golf courses.

“We have a great team, one that is experienced and knowledgeable. We are experienced in every facet of golf course management. Your staff has shared what needs to be done and we can do it while saving you money. We are good at meeting our responsibilities,” Miles said.

Muetz said some of the areas the new operator will focus on include at the very least making the course financially self-sufficient, if not a solid revenue-producer.

Improved community marketing and better communications will also be stressed, as will attracting more from the Gurnee community into use of the facility.

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