The Waikoloa Village Golf Course is a beautiful often unappreciated gem on the Big Island. Now it appears that a faction of folks are lobbying to have it closed, so before they succeed let’s examine the economic and social consequences that such an action would affect on the Waikoloa Community whether you play golf or not.
A LITTLE HISTORY
Let’s start with a little history. Waikoloa Village was developed during the 70’s by Boise Cascade. The idea for Waikoloa Village dates back to the 1960’s. Back then, Ron Boeddeker (of the Boise Cascade company) bought a bunch of land, land that was nothing more than an old lava flow. He had a vision to create an oasis in the middle of an endless black field of hardened lava. Waikoloa Village sits at an elevation of about 1000 feet above sea level. The annual average rainfall totals 12 inches per year. Locals simply refer to their home as “Waikoloa”. Clear skies aided by the trade winds provide spectacular views of Kohala Mountain, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai, and Haleakala on Maui. Views of the Kohala coastline abound throughout most parts of town.
Waikoloa Village is the only town on the Big Island with a Home Owners Association (HOA) that every property owner is a member of. As a member, residents have use of the pool and tennis courts, the stables and benefit from discounted green fees on the golf course.
Robert Trent Jones Jr. designed the 18 hole golf course as part of the master planned community. It opened for play in 1972. Today, it is one of the oldest courses in Hawaii. The course attracts visitors and guests from around the world and other parts of the Big Island. It is an economic focal point for the community and not only provides revenue through its player base to support golf operations but also attracts consumers to the many other businesses located in the village. The Waikoloa Village course’s proximity to the Waikoloa Village Shopping Center makes the center an attractive option for shopping, dining and other local merchant patronage.
The largest single economic benefit that residents of Waikoloa Village derive from the golf course is the intangible effect it has on real estate values and worldwide promotion of the village itself. People throughout the world are attracted to communities with premier amenities. Many new and current residents first discovered the village through a round of golf or interaction with another golfer who referred them to the village. Indeed, we’re golfers but surprisingly none of our friends who have now become residents of the village actually play golf, yet they appreciate and identify with the golf course.
It is difficult to predict the severity of the effect on home prices and lot values in Waikoloa Village should the golf course close or have the budget reduced to a level insufficient to adequately maintain the golf course. The additional hit to businesses and the community’s image as a result of reduced tourism and visitors certainly must be considered as a consequence of any proposal to eliminate the golf course or reduce the quality of play.
So we hope you’ll agree and vote accordingly. When all the factors and benefits to the Waikoloa Village Community are considered there’s only one choice to be made………Save the Waikoloa Village Golf Course!!!!!!!!!