Driv­ing range at golf course might get $50M face-lift

Hawaii Tribune Herald - - NEWS -

HONOLULU — Honolulu is look­ing to pair with Top­golf Hawaii to re­place the driv­ing range at one of its golf cour­ses with a high­tech ver­sion and other golf-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

The city of­fered Top­golf Hawaii a 20-year lease deal with op­tions to ex­tend up to 40 years to up­grade Ala Wai Golf Course’s tra­di­tional driv­ing range. Top­golf was of­fered a con­di­tional award fol­low­ing a com­pet­i­tive re­quest-for-pro­pos­als process that be­gan in De­cem­ber.

Top­golf plans to in­vest $50 mil­lion on the project. The com­pany is ex­pected to de­sign, build, fi­nance, op­er­ate and main­tain the Ala Wai Golf Course driv­ing range and other golf-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

The part­ner­ship will pay the city a min­i­mum an­nual lease rent of $1.02 mil­lion and 1 per­cent of its gross rev­enue on sales to con­duct busi­ness at the Ala Wai lo­ca­tion. The base rent is set to in­crease as the con­tract pro­gresses.

The lease will re­quire ap­proval from the Honolulu City Coun­cil and state Board of Land and Nat­u­ral Re­sources since the golf course sits on state land.

The deal will boost de­clin­ing rev­enue at the city’s six cour­ses, where ex­penses ex­ceed rev­enue by sev­eral mil­lion an­nu­ally, said Guy Kaulukukui, di­rec­tor of the city Depart­ment of En­ter­prise Ser­vices.

Kaulukukui said the Ala Wai course’s driv­ing range earns be­tween $500,000 and $600,000 in an­nual gross rev­enue, a fig­ure he ex­pects will quadru­ple to about $2 mil­lion an­nu­ally un­der Top­golf Hawaii.

The com­pany also plans to add up to 450 jobs of­fer­ing full-time, part-time and sea­sonal work.

The up­grade should be open to the pub­lic in a few years if ev­ery­thing works out.

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