FORT MYERS, Fla. - The greens are lush, and the grounds, manicured...but one thing at Fort Myers Country Club is missing- the golfers.
"I don't understand it. Why aren't more people out here? It's beautiful. It's a beautiful day, It's a beautiful course, it should be crowded," said golfer John Devany as he took to the course Thursday.
The historic country club has weathered its up and downs since opening back in 1917. But this fiscal year, the course's rainy day reserves are dry, depleted after years of dipping into it since the economy turned sour.
"Between the unseasonably cold winter we just experienced, combined with the economy, we're just seeing revenues not coming in as planned," said Chris Tenney, the City of Fort Myers budget manager.
Fort Myers Country Club is expected to close out the fiscal year drawing in a revenue of $1.3 million dollars, but with expenses at $1.4 million, it now has a $100,000 gap to fill.
"I don't think it's anything they're doing wrong, I think it's just a sign of the times. People are struggling, the economy's down so some people just can't afford it," said Iasiah Redmon, a longtime FMCC golfer.
The future of the course now rests in the hands of city council members, who will either earmark an estimated $90,000 toward saving Fort Myers Country Club, or let it fold.
"I can't believe that they would let the jewel of Fort Myers, let that happen. I don't see it," said John Finch, whose front yard looks out to the course's pristine greens.
Taxpayers are welcomed to weigh in on City Council's decision. They're holding two public hearings before they pass their 2011 city budget, the first on September 13th.