by Carey Thompson, Sun City Shadow Hills Association Board Treasurer
First, some history: although our current carts are in a long-term lease, our governing documents do not permit lease agreements beyond one year. We have been advised by our legal counsel that we must adhere to our CC&Rs. Further, over the past four years, we have spent over $400,000 on our leased golf carts – and in the end, we own nothing for all the money we’ve spent.
The Board, along with PCM and Troon Golf, explored many options with several banks to see if we could extend the current lease by 12 months, with the option to renew after the initial term. The costs would be more than double the price of the new golf carts and, at the end of the lease, we would again own nothing.
We also considered buying the current carts outright and refurbishing them. According to Rolland Vaughn (Troon Golf GM), that option would cost almost 75% of the new price, and in 3-4 years we would have hardly any residual value.
As much as no one wanted to spend $500,000 on new golf carts, the prudent financial decision was to purchase new carts.
Our decision was reviewed by GAC (our Golf Advisory Committee) and the FAC (Financial Advisory Committee) as well as our outside auditor (Wayne Carlsen) and our outside legal counsel Mary Howell of Epsten, Grinnell, & Howell. Their recommendation was unanimous –that the purchase is a prudent and appropriate investment of our reserve funds. The HOA Board of Directors approved this recommendation in a 5 - 0 vote at the open session of the Board Meeting on September 26 meeting.
The Good News: Troon negotiated with EZGo for a discount of over $2,000 per cart – a savings of 42% over retail. The new carts will be ours, and at the end of their useful life in 3-5 years, they will have a trade-in value.
More Good News: we got two additional carts at NO CHARGE for our two course marshals, and a “picker” and flatbed for the driving range. In addition, EZGo absorbed the remainder of the lease payments on a handful of carts still under lease through 2018, saving us an additional $35,000. Troon Golf’s buying power and negotiating strategy saved our community a lot of money.
The new golf carts will be here in November hopefully in time for the opening of the South Course on the 7th. See you at the course.
Note* -- The Shadow Hills Golf Club does charge golfers for the use of these carts. Were there no carts available, no one who did not own a cart could play at our club as walking the course is not permitted with certain exceptions.