Despite a valiant effort by the Birchbank Golf Course, with the onset of the coronavirus, things went from bad to worse to untenable for the Trail course.
The Birchbank Board of Directors announced to their members on Monday that it had filed for voluntary receivership.
Many golf clubs are experiencing financial difficulty, and Birchbank was no different. The 18-hole-course faced declining memberships and green fees, coupled with rising costs, which has hampered the operating budget of the course for many years. Their line of credit was ultimately cut off, and despite efforts to reduce and offset costs, the current crisis was the final straw.
“This year the number of members who purchased memberships prior to season opening was down substantially,” explained the Board in a letter to its members. “We anticipated a number of prior and new members would purchase their memberships at the full rate once the season started. We were optimistic that an early opening might get us through the summer though our budget projections indicated trouble if our membership/green fee revenues didn’t materialize.”
The club looked forward to getting an early start on the season, and was poised to open almost three weeks ago, until BC Golf recommended all courses stay closed due to COVID-19.
“With the recommendation from BC Golf and Golf Canada for golf courses to not open until the pandemic was under control, there was no chance to improve cashflow and insolvency was unavoidable.”
According to the Board, Birchbank will open and operate under the Receiver General once given the go-ahead from the health authority. Ultimatley, it hopes to find a buyer that will takeover the course and keep it operating.
Birchbank celebrated its 75th Men’s Open in August.