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  • #46
    Just got this Email...


    The City of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division has issued a decision on the proposed West Alton Baker Park Disc Golf Course.

    Excerpt:

    "Due to on-going stakeholder concerns about a disc golf course that would enclose a portion of Pre's Running Trail on both sides, we are approving a modified area for disc golf that will not cross to the north side of Pre's Trail."


    To read the full decision, including a map of the modified area and a summary of the public involvement process, please visit the Disc Golf webpage: www.eugene-or.gov/discgolf

    For further information, please contact Neil Bjorklund at 541-682-4800.


    _________________________
    Philip Richardson
    Landscape Architect
    Eugene Parks & Open Space Division
    "You won't like me when I am angry, because I always back up my rage with facts and documented sources". - The Credible Hulk

    Comment


    • #47
      Yep, for anyone interested, the decision document can be found here:

      http://www.eugene-or.gov/portal/serv...e_Decision.pdf

      Just to quickly sum it up.. the course is a go, however it can use even less space than it previously did.. no crossing Pre's trail at all now. I'm honestly a little doubtful a full 18-holes can even fit in the left-over space.. holes 2-5(?) from the most-recent course layout are what's out. That's roughly 650-700ft. of fairways gone.

      Comment


      • #48
        You have to love the 4:30 pm Friday announcement. In a nutshell: no 18 hole course, still has to be pay-to-play or completely funded and maintained by a third party.

        Will people pay to play a short 12-15 hole course? Can a vendor make a living and maintain a course just selling discs and maybe snacks?

        Stay tuned for another 12-18 months and find out.
        Last edited by Matt B.; September 23rd, 2011, 11:53 PM. Reason: Always look on the bright side of life.

        Comment


        • #49
          I agree.. the pay-to-play issue gets more and more grating as the course gets pushed around more and more. As a 12-hole, white-level (PDGA Difficulty Rating), pay-to-play course, how much revenue can the course operator expect? How much would you pay to play it?

          As an 18-hole course, Alton Baker Park represents a good alternative to the ~18 mile (one way) trip out to Dexter or Cottage Grove. I just checked my scorebook.. last year, I drove at least as far as one of those two courses 50 out of 54 weekends. So while Alton Baker park would be shorter and pay-to-play, I could still potentially save quite a lot of money in gas costs playing it. Just to math it out.. Alton Baker Park is ~3 miles from my house, and Dexter/the Grove are ~18 miles from my house.. so:

          50 trips to Alton Baker Park vs 50 trips to Dexter/the Grove would save me approximately $212.00 annually (that's assuming $4.00 per gallon, and my vehicle gets 22mpg city and 27mpg freeway). Now I probably wouldn't play Alton Baker Park every weekend.. Dexter and the Grove are still more challenging courses.. so probably I could pay $100.00 annually to play Alton Baker Park as an 18-hole course and still save money.

          As a 12-hole course, though.. Alton Baker Park would only really replace Summer evening (after work) disc golf at Westmoreland, and maybe 4 weekends a year when I don't quite have enough time to make the trip to Dexter or the Grove. Yes, Alton Baker Park would be a lot less crowded (hopefully) than Westmoreland on fair-weather evenings.. but that's not worth a lot to me (after all, I play Westmoreland and don't complain about the long wait). Alton Baker Park is also a little more challenging than Westy.. I can chalk up -10 over 18-holes at Westy on a normal day, and I haven't done better than -7 over 18-holes at Alton Baker Park so far. So that's worth a little. Plus, the four weekends a year might save me ~$17.00 annually in gas costs vs. having to drive to Dexter or the Grove. So I'd probably be fine with paying $30.00 annually to play a 12-hole Alton Baker Park as much as I'd like.. but much more than that and I'd stick with Westmoreland for the vast majority of evening rounds.

          Can a vendor actually recoup installation costs and make a profit in a reasonable time frame if that's all I'm willing to pay to play the course? I'm not optimistic.

          Comment


          • #50
            Yes it Sucks that the original layout will need to be modified. BUT why dont you go with a HUGE 9 hole layout that has 2 different tees that play very differently from each other. Then 2 laps make a nice 18 holes.

            On the "pay to play/Vendor subject". The right vendor could do very well here.
            The $ is NOT made on the course play. It's made on the Snack/Drink/Disc sales.
            Just ask Snapper Pierson in San Diego.


            Some times we need to just make the best out of what we get.

            Comment


            • #51
              Originally posted by Magilla View Post
              Yes it Sucks that the original layout will need to be modified. BUT why dont you go with a HUGE 9 hole layout that has 2 different tees that play very differently from each other. Then 2 laps make a nice 18 holes.

              On the "pay to play/Vendor subject". The right vendor could do very well here.
              The $ is NOT made on the course play. It's made on the Snack/Drink/Disc sales.
              Just ask Snapper Pierson in San Diego.


              Some times we need to just make the best out of what we get.

              Hi magilla,

              Yeah, I can see two tees per hole working o.k., providing course traffic is low enough. With the 500 person-rounds the Alton Baker Park course was seeing on the three test days, though, packing that many people into 9 holes is going to produce considerably longer wait times than Westmoreland in the Summer.

              As for the vendor selling snacks/drinks/discs.. I agree that most of the revenue for a pay-to-play course might be made there, however to my knowledge there still has been no word from the City of Eugene as to if a vendor would even be allowed to sell anything at the course. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong on this, though. Further, adding some kind of 'pro shop' means that a vendor would need two employees actually on the premises, instead of one. Because the vendor would not be allowed to simply collect fees for parking, one employee would actually need to be on the course during operational hours, to make sure that golfers are all paying to play.

              I'm all for 'making the best of what we get'.. and I'm not in any way trying to make a claim that pay-to-play isn't the future of disc golf, but in this case aren't we actually 'making the best of what we now have to pay for'? The function of pay-to-play disc golf is to allow disc golf to come out from the shadow of City/County/State/etc. ownership. As we all know, the interests of disc golf aren't necessarily 100% compatible with the interests of public parks and city/county/state planning. Want a new tee pad poured or an alternate basket position installed? Want better-maintained and disc-golf-focused course grounds? These kinds of things may or may not ever be possible on public City/County/State-owned courses. Pay-to-play, by comparison, represents the possibility of placing the interests of disc golf first. Want higher-quality courses than what can be accomplished with City/County/State budgets? That *should* cost something. But the current Alton Baker Park course proposal is quite the opposite of that. Instead of the pay-to-play aspect of the course allowing the interests of disc golf to come first, the interests of disc golf have been on the 'back burner' as it will from the outset, as the available course grounds have been reduced and reduced.

              Once again, I fully expect one day to need to start paying more for disc golf. But along with paying more for the sport I also expect to see a greater attention to and focus on the interests of the sport of disc golf. That second part is what I'm not seeing happening here, which is what bothers me.
              Last edited by jeverett; September 24th, 2011, 10:21 PM. Reason: Edit: Spelling fail.

              Comment


              • #52
                We could still explore the possibility of an 18 hole layout playable year round and a modified 12 hole layout during event days. This would give us the fields south of Day Island road that are used for parking. There is no reason we can't use these fields for the 330+ days each year that events aren't going on. We understand that the course will need to adapt for the presence of 1,000's of people in the park. It's all about education and adaptation. The parks dept wants the course as much as we do. It's just important to keep the current stakeholders happy. We need to bond together now and express our feeling that a "modified course" is just not good enough. We understand that there are concerns over the Pre Trail and we will compromise with the fields. Great things are going to happen. It's just a matter of standing up for what we deserve. Can I smell a petition for 18 Holes coming on?
                Disc Golf Accessories

                Comment


                • #53
                  Originally posted by purediscgolf View Post
                  We could still explore the possibility of an 18 hole layout playable year round and a modified 12 hole layout during event days.
                  Yes it is mind-boggling that the parks department would exempt those huge parking fields from consideration even when they are not in use. At least the Track Club had to sqawk and squeal and they still ended up with a course that plays near the trail. Cuthbert has never given up a square foot of land that's only used occasionally for parking during warm weather.

                  In any case, this won't effect the areas available for the Food Toss. We have permission to use the same footprint as was used during the trial.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    To purediscgolf and the other people who put so much energy into this new course, I wanted to say thank you, thank you, thank you. While it was not as much a victory as desired, it is certainly a reality and I will be driving down from Portland to play the course. My prediction is that it will grow over time into the 18 holes that were desired.

                    Let's tee off - Pop

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Matt B. View Post
                      You have to love the 4:30 pm Friday announcement. In a nutshell: no 18 hole course, still has to be pay-to-play or completely funded and maintained by a third party.

                      Will people pay to play a short 12-15 hole course? Can a vendor make a living and maintain a course just selling discs and maybe snacks?

                      Stay tuned for another 12-18 months and find out.
                      Thank you very much to everyone who provided feedback to the City of Eugene in the form of survey responses, emails, letters, etc. when we asked for your support. It did make a difference and it is very much appreciated! When the disc golf community sticks together and raises its collective voice we can accomplish a lot.

                      I was really upset when we got the decision that the original proposed footprint had been modified and the course could not cross the trail. But now that I've had some time to calm down and read the decision a few times I think overall that this is a very positive step, and that we really won here.

                      This course proposal was in real danger of being scrapped due to the opposition from the Oregon Track Club Board of Directors. Not just modified, but scrapped completely. THE OTC board wanted the course out of West Alton Baker completely and they did everything they could to make that happen, both behind the scenes and with a public media campaign. They not only targeted the proposal with a "Guest Viewpoint" in the paper but someone also sent Steve Prefontaine's half-sister out to all the local tv stations with a bunch of misinformation to accuse disc golfers of "destroying" the trail and disrespecting the "memorial". The OTC board denies being behind Ms. Prefontaine's hysterical antics and I believe that, but she was clearly informed and encouraged by someone parroting their agenda.

                      The OTC board is very well connected in Eugene, and the OTC and Pre's trail is very well funded by big donors. They were able to get meetings with City officials that the disc golf community could not get. When the City invited five disc golfers to a joint walkthrough of the proposed course, the OTC board brought ten people and proceeded to browbeat us, cut us off as we spoke, and say things that were simply not true about the course proposal. The City officials stood mute and let us take the heat.

                      If we had not answered their media campaign with one of our own and rallied disc golfers to provide input, the OTC probably would have blown the course out of the water. So from that perspective I think we were successful and we finally exercised a little muscle as a constituency in Eugene.

                      So this is good news, but we need to be guarded in our optimism. This course has not been approved. The 'footprint' has been modified and approved. We made it over this hurdle but that was just the one placed in front of us by the OTC board. Maybe I'm being pessimistic but I don't see this course going in this Fall or anytime soon. Considering the glacial pace of this process we need to stay patient and keep expectations reasonable. The City now has to work on a Request For Proposal to make public. As far as I know, they have not decided on any contract language or even been working on the RFP. We do not know what any vendor may or may not be allowed to do in terms of sales or what a vendor may be required to have in the way of insurance, business license, etc. etc. I'm not sure starting a pay-to-play venture in the Winter would even be a good idea for a vendor.

                      Until the RFP comes out we are still waiting. A new course layout needs to be designed and approved. And although the language of the decision seems to indicate that all the "stakeholders" are now okay with the footprint, new objections could still arise from the OTC, the Cuthbert people or someone else. As we just saw, the opinions and desires of the other "stakeholders" have a lot of weight in this process and can easily overpower the feedback and desires of hundreds of regular park users. So we do need to stay positive and stay flexible and recognize the power these groups have and find a way to work with them.

                      And although I agree with the sentiment that it is important to have 18 holes for the long term success of the course, we have to remember that if we want to modify the footprint again, it is going to be another "process" dependent on another decision with more "stakeholder" involvement and potential opposition, etc. etc. etc. We just saw how long it took to get the OTC to state their opposition, gather feedback, campaign for what we wanted, and wait for a decision on it - two friggin' years! I'm not against the idea per se, but just keep that in mind.

                      In the meantime we still have general approval to run tournaments like the Food Toss, and I hope Andrew will have a Winter Series event at the site as well. When we are there we need to remember where we are in the process and who is watching. We won this battle but we are still a ways from getting the course installed with a lot of unknown terrain ahead of us. Let's stay positive and keep working together!
                      Last edited by Matt B.; September 27th, 2011, 07:50 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        This sounds like a community in crisis. Since when did corporate sponsors get to dictate what the public use of a park should be? Things sound a little back alley like in Eugene at the moment.

                        I would like to commend all you golfers down there, however, for finding the silver lining in a bleak gray day. I am impressed that instead of rolling over, you all took initiative and fought to keep what should be yours.

                        To the OTC, shame on you. Steve Prefontaine wouldn't of cared who was using the park so long as he could of run through it. It's ridiculous that you use connections to deny people of something that could be just as healthy as running. You have shamed yourself in front of many people and I wouldn't be surprised if people stop being so sympathetic to your needs.

                        Stuart
                        "Honest work is for the downtrodden and the Polish"
                        Cleveland Brown

                        Comment


                        • #57
                          Originally posted by General Scales View Post
                          This sounds like a community in crisis. Since when did corporate sponsors get to dictate what the public use of a park should be? Things sound a little back alley like in Eugene at the moment.

                          I would like to commend all you golfers down there, however, for finding the silver lining in a bleak gray day. I am impressed that instead of rolling over, you all took initiative and fought to keep what should be yours.

                          To the OTC, shame on you. Steve Prefontaine wouldn't of cared who was using the park so long as he could of run through it. It's ridiculous that you use connections to deny people of something that could be just as healthy as running. You have shamed yourself in front of many people and I wouldn't be surprised if people stop being so sympathetic to your needs.

                          Stuart

                          Just to clarify my statements above, I am not saying that corporate sponsors had anything to do with this situation, they did not in any way. My point is that the OTC is a very well-respected, well-established, and well-funded group in Eugene and disc golfers are by and large, not, and we could have just gotten steamrolled. The OTC board is made up in part, as most boards are, of influential people. And rightly so. You want those people advocating for your organization, and aside from this disc golf debacle I think the OTC does good things for the community.

                          The OTC puts a lot of money into the community and into Pre's trail and they have the right to defend their turf as they see fit. We don't have to agree with their opinions or arguments, but they are already well established in that park and we are not, so we need to work with them. Although they wanted the course to go away, they did end up compromising or at least accepting this compromise for now.

                          I realize I've been one of the main bashers but I really hope we move into a new phase in this campaign to bring more disc golf to Eugene. We have a lot of collective energy and I'd love for it to be used in a positive direction and not get dragged into another "argument" situation. If we had our own park space to work in that would be the case and we could just roll up our sleeves and get to work like Stumptown and other clubs have been doing. This is what we've got for now in Eugene, and negotiating the political landscape is something we'll have to get better at, me included.

                          Now if we could just get Phil Knight to buy 100 acres in Eugene to establish a home course for the U of O disc golf team and the rest of the community!

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Matt B. View Post
                            ...Pre's trail is very well funded by some heavy hitters (think swoosh).
                            Should disc golfers think twice before having a swoosh on anything they have? Isn't there a place for some leverage in the other direction implicit here? I could imagine a national campaign that might get a heavy hitter swinging another direction.
                            The Corporate Empire is NOT a Constitutional Republic...
                            ...but it plays one on TV.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Ol' Bob View Post
                              Should disc golfers think twice before having a swoosh on anything they have? Isn't there a place for some leverage in the other direction implicit here? I could imagine a national campaign that might get a heavy hitter swinging another direction.
                              There are lots of valid reasons to boycott Nike (and most of the other Fortune 1000 for that matter), but this isn't one of them.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                The Parks and Open Space Planning Manager, Neil Bjorklund appears to be soliciting feedback WRT some potential changes in the ABP DGC plan.

                                1) leave the disc golf course area as it was, with very restricted hours on Cuthbert event days, and a maximum of 15-16 holes, or

                                2) to make these changes to allow expanded hours of play on Cuthbert event days and to expand the number of holes to 18 on most days.

                                Does anyone who is intimately familiar with these changes want to comment on this so we can provide the best feedback.

                                Expanded hours of play and expanded number of holes seems like a no brainer? Does this adversely affect the quality of the original layout?

                                Comment

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