Proposed tax could be costly for golf team

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Central's golf team at the NCCGA tournament last spring.

Central's golf team at the NCCGA tournament last spring.

Courtesy of CWU Golf Club

Courtesy of CWU Golf Club

Central's golf team at the NCCGA tournament last spring.

Ryan Kinker, Staff Reporter

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UPDATE: The Kittitas County Commissioners have approved the admissions tax.

The cost of golfing may soon be changing for Central’s golf club, and not for the better.

The Kittitas County Commissioners have been discussing a new admissions tax that would add a 5-percent tax anywhere in the county where tickets are sold, admission is charged or equipment is rented, such as skiing and golfing.

This tax would have a large effect on the Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum.

Brady Hatfield, director of golf operations at Suncadia, said that Suncadia has kept its eye on the discussion to add this tax.

A new “tax would relate to a rate increase,” Hatfield said. “It might negatively impact the amount of visitors coming in.”

While Suncadia uses dynamic pricingmeaning the amount customers pay to play a round of golf changes depending on the time of daya tax would have a bigger effect on Central students than the regular guests at the resort.

Hatfield said dynamic pricing can be compared to the difference between ticket prices at a professional football game when sitting at the 50-yard line or in the second-level seats.

Many Central students find employment at Suncadia during the summer; some keep those jobs through the academic year.

Chandler St. Louis, senior public relations major, is both an employee at Suncadia and also vice president of Central’s golf club.

“I feel like this tax could affect a lot of people,” St. Louis said. “It could deter certain people away. I mean, I feel the resort is already expensive as is, but most of their business comes from the Westside so I don’t know how they would know the possible effect.”

However, St. Louis said that Suncadia is among the most expensive public courses in the state of Washington, and the cost would probably not cause a change in the amount of visitors at Suncadia.

While serving as a member on Suncadia’s staff, St. Louis and other members of the golf club received free rounds of golf in non-peak hours or when dynamic pricing was lowest.

“We were allowed to take people for free,” St. Louis said. “But, at one point, Suncadia used to let the team play there for free. But the privilege was revoked because students partied or [misused] the privilege.”

During the offseason the rates run from $49 to $64 per round on the weekdays and $49 to $79 during the peak season. Those rates could be on the rise. St. Louis hopes that the golf club will still be able to go and play rounds of golf at a decent price this upcoming season.

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Proposed tax could be costly for golf team