Park officials to seek alcohol permit for golf course

Local golfers at Greenbelt Golf Course, one of two city-owned Columbus courses, could soon be able to purchase alcohol at the clubhouse.

The Columbus Park Board approved allowing the city parks and recreation department to apply for a permanent, two-way liquor license at Greenbelt, enabling the city to serve beer and wine at the Gladstone Avenue course.

Beer had previously been served at Greenbelt, said Nikki Montembeault, the department’s sports manager who oversaw the city’s transition into taking back city control of Greenbelt and Par 3, the second municipal course.

However, the license to serve beer is under the name of the private owner who was contracted to operate the two courses for the last six years until the city resumed its direct supervision in October 2015. That license is set to expire at the end of April, Montembeault said.

Because the beer license is not in the city’s name, Montembeault said Greenbelt customers have not been able to purchase alcohol since the transition.

“They miss it,” she told the board.

The two-way license would allow the parks department to expand its alcohol options by serving beer and wine. Selling alcohol at Greenbelt could bring in about $12,000 in concession sales alone, Montembeault said.

“That would be a huge boost to our revenue,” she said.

However, parks director Mark Jones told board members that it generally takes 180 days for two-way liquor licenses to be approved. That’s why the department also requested permission to apply for temporary alcohol permits at Greenbelt while the permanent license is pending, a request board members approved.

Julie Abedian, the newest board member, asked if the city would incur any additional insurance or other costs related to having a permanent liquor license at the course. Abedian was sworn in at the Thursday park board meeting to replace former board president Dave Jones.

Mark Jones told the board there would be some additional cost, although he could not give an exact amount.

While Greenbelt generally attracts adult golfers, Par 3 has traditionally been a family course where young golfers play when they are just learning the game, Montembeault said.

The department wants to maintain that family-friendly atmosphere, so rather than getting a permanent liquor license at Par 3, Montembeault requested permission to purchase temporary alcohol permits on a case-by-case basis.

A temporary permit to serve alcohol could be needed at Par 3 for special events when the course is closed to the general public, she said. Keith VanDeventer, the golf pro/manager at Greenbelt and Par 3, said such events would likely include activities such as large company outings.

Mark Levett, who was elected park board president at Thursday’s meeting, said the department needs to establish guidelines for deciding if private events at Par 3 necessitate a temporary alcohol permit.

The board approved the department’s request to apply for temporary permits at Par 3, but that approval was contingent upon seeing the guidelines Levett requested. Additionally, the approval is only good for the 2016 calendar year and will have to be re-visited by the board at the beginning of 2017.

Alcohol availability at city golf courses

Greenbelt

The Columbus Park and Recreation Department will apply for a permanent, two-way liquor license for Greenbelt Golf Course, 1000 N Gladstone Ave., Columbus. That license will allow the department to sell both beer and wine in the course clubhouse. Hard liquor, however, will not be permitted.

Par 3

Because Par 3 Golf Course, 3362 Fairlawn Drive, Columbus, has traditionally been a family course, the department will use temporary alcohol permits which would allow drinks to be served at private events. Parks staff will decide if those events need a temporary alcohol permit on a case-by-case basis.

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Olivia Covington is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at ocovington@therepublic.com or 812-379-5712.