Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Golf courses, bad timing

Like generals who inevitably fight the last war and not the one they're in, the developers who still drive a lot of municipal policy are an anachronistic bunch. They continue to push projects and ideas that worked 40 years ago, but clearly face serious headwinds these days, like the need to move the airport.

They're still pushing golf courses, like the one proposed for Quigley. It's an environmental albatross, and a grand carrot. Like the sages who attend the Allen & Co. conferences, they must know something we don't. Last year 80 new courses opened in the U.S., the fewest in the last 20 years, and 100 closed. This is an ongoing trend. Why? It has been shown that it's a lousy, financially unproductive use of valuable real estate like ours. The acreage is being converted to higher-margin residential units.

Taxpayer money should stop subsidizing these private projects. Hailey should declare a permanent moratorium on annexations. All they do is pass costs and debts on to the public and privatize all the financial gain. It's time we stop being hypnotized, locally and nationwide, by this formula, say 'No mas' and wake up to find ourselves in a new world, like Rip Van Winkle.

Bali Szabo


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