Thursday, January 22, 2009

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Considered one of the best new golf courses in the country when it opened 20 years ago, Reno's Northgate Golf Course will close because it's too much of a financial drain on its owners.

Members of the Reno-area tourism board said the course stands to lose $530,000 in the current fiscal year, the equivalent of $27.40 for each round of golf played there.

The Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority said it can't afford that when a shortage of tourism marketing dollars already has forced it to slash the authority's budget by more than $6 million and lay off more than 30 employees since September.

The 18-hole championship links layout that winds through canyons and foothills of northwest Reno hosted the Ben Hogan Reno Open on the Nationwide Tour in 1991 and 1992 and has served as a site for U.S. Open qualifying.

``Because the board has voted to close Northgate, it will allow the RSCVA to devote more financial assets to market the region at a time when maximum resources are needed. It will also allow the organization to fund other priority capital projects tied to driving visitation to the destination,'' said Ellen Oppenheim, the authority's president and CEO.

RSCVA has owned and operated the course since RJB Holdings gave the property to the authority 20 years ago. Under the terms of the agreement, ownership reverts back to RJB.

Golf Magazine voted Northgate one of best new courses in the country in 1989.

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