After years of bad results, amenities beating budget
By Greg Ellison
(Dec. 2, 2021) Halfway through the fiscal year, Ocean Pines’ ledgers show that increased profitability at the golf course, racquet courts and swimming pools has combined to put these amenities a half-million dollars ahead of budget estimates.
General Manager John Viola attributed this strong financial performance to proper oversight from Ocean Pines Association leadership and staff efforts.
“It’s a reflection of the managers or directors at all three amenities,” he said.
In addition to PGA Director of Golf John Malinowski and Aquatics Director Kathleen Cook, tennis pro Terry Underkoffler and facilities manager Tim McMullen operate the Ocean Pines Racquet Center.
Through October, this year’s net operating figures have beaten the budget by $271,000 in golf, $204,000 in aquatics and $34,000 in racquet sports.
“It’s organic revenue growth,” he said. “Obviously, we haven’t had any price increases.”
At this point in the last fiscal year, golf operations was ahead of budget by $198,000, while both tennis and pool facilities were under budget by $23,000 and $116,000 respectively.
Viola said improved aesthetics at the golf course and racquet courts have helped draw more players at both locations.
“We are getting very positive feedback,” he said. “It’s the maintenance and the appearance of the golf course that’s doing it … and same thing with racquet sports.
The feedback is obviously in the revenue and in the rounds,” he said. “Maintaining the appearance of the tennis courts has helped to generate revenue.”
Viola said budget cuts to golf maintenance and inferior course conditions in past years cost the operation revenue.
“I’m actually in the process of going through what it costs to maintain other golf courses versus what we’re doing and we’re kind of on the favorable side,” he said.
Sufficient funding for turf maintenance yields dividends, Viola said.
“We have brought up the course conditions and it’s showing up in the numbers of people coming out to play,” he said. “It’s a reflection of the investment we’ve made at the course.”
Viola said numerous golfers who had been steering clear of Ocean Pines have changed their tune.
“Now they’re like they can’t wait,” he said. “They want to come back and they’re telling their friends.”
Turning to aquatics, Viola said despite numerous limitations tied to covid-19, Cook has navigated to profitability.
“It’s still organic revenue,” he said. “They’re finding revenue there you didn’t find before.”
While ahead of budget at the half-point in FY21/22, aquatics was operating $116,000 under estimates to close last October.
“Aquatics has been good,” he said.