Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration is backing away from three of four 9-hole golf courses located at Kentucky state parks.
A news release Monday from the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet indicated that proposals would be sought for a private concessionaire to operate the 9-hole golf courses at Carter Caves State Resort Park in Olive Hill and Kincaid Lake State Park near Falmouth.
Also, the state plans to seek ideas from an organization or company for other uses of the 9-hole golf course at General Butler State Resort Park in Carrollton.
The requests will be available through the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet. Details were not offered about how long the requests will be issued.
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“This decision will improve efficiency at our state parks and save taxpayer dollars,” said Don Parkinson, secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage. “We hope that these requests will generate proposals and ideas that better serve the needs of Kentuckians and our guests.”
The release said the state parks system is no longer able to maintain the courses at the three parks due to decreasing number of rounds played and rising maintenance costs.
Laura Brooks, a spokeswoman for the cabinet, said General Butler had 2,100 annual rounds of golf for a 5.9 percent utilization, Kincaid 3,550 annual rounds for 7.1 percent utilization, and Carter Caves 5,350 annual rounds for 9.6 percent utilization.
The state’s best golf course, she said, is the 18-hole My Old Kentucky Home at Bardstown with 21,000 annual rounds.
The decision to shed three of the courses will not affect employment at the parks, the release said.
The 9-hole golf course not affected is at John James Audubon in Henderson.
Kentucky also operates a dozen 18-hole courses parks across the state.
For more information about golf at Kentucky state parks, visit www.parks.ky.gov.