For the second time in the last six years, the city of Marysville is exploring the market to sell Plumas Lake Golf and Country Club.
Established in 1926, the course has long been known as the hidden jewel of the Sacramento Valley. But over the past couple decades, the golf business has seen a decline both on the course and in the pro shop.
Councilman Bill Simmons said the city can’t continue to subsidize the course, which is located about 12 miles south of Marysville. Simmons, who noted that the city manager is currently in negotiations with the lessee, said the course needs to be “100 percent self-sufficient.”
Mayor Ricky Samayoa said the popularity of golf hit its peak about 20 years ago and slowed down recently.
Samayoa said membership has dropped and the cost to maintain the course remains high, which doesn’t equate to a winning product financially.
“It’s not a growing market, young people are looking for other activities,” Samayoa said.
In the summer of 2013, the council directed former city manager Walter Munchheimer to explore selling the course as a financial safety net to help with mounting debt.
According to Appeal-Democrat archives from 2013, Marysville was seeking $7 million to pay off the outstanding principal on bonds it issued for the 2006 purchase of vacant commercial property on B Street. Former Councilman Michael Selvidge said during a council meeting six years ago that he believed the golf course could fetch the $7 million the city needs.
“It would make my day if it could bring $7 million,” Munchheimer said in an archived report of the Appeal-Democrat.
However, the lease arrangement is tricky and outside of about $32,000 in revenue from the arrangement, Marysville has virtually nothing to do with the semi-private course. There are no city operating costs and no city employees, according to Appeal archives.
Simmons said despite his personal feelings about the course, Marysville simply can’t afford to bankroll Plumas Lake Golf and Country Club anymore.
“I can’t continue to keep putting money into it,” Simmons said.