The Real Story on Trail Pass Fees

What’s going on with the Trail Pass fees?

Let’s try to keep this simple, 5 years ago Sumter Landing Community Development District purchased all the amenities between CR466 and SR44, pretty much common knowledge now.  As a part of the purchase agreement the developer agreed to provide and maintain the Tee Time Reservation system at no cost for the next 5 years in exchange for the right to include the Executive Course Trail Pass (TP) with the Championship Course Priority Membership (PM) at no cost.  So, no cost to either party.

Fast forward to November 2021, 5 years later, the agreement expired and a new agreement between the developer, VCCDD, and SLCDD on amenity operations and cost sharing was signed.  What wasn’t in the new agreement is the free Tee Time Reservation system, one side of the original agreement went away therefor the other must also, the developer isn’t going to receive free TPs and won’t be including them in future PMs.

Some Priority Membership holders say the developer should reduce the PM the cost of the Trail Pass, well they have, they’ve reduced the price of the PM exactly what they were paying for the TP, $0.00.  The free ride went away.

There were other things in the new agreement that will work to our advantage.  Previously the TP revenue was divided up based on the number of Executive courses owned; now the revenue division is based on the number of holes played.  This will drive the revenue sharing toward the more played courses and fairly compensate others when a course is closed.

The cost of the Tee Time reservation system will now be shared by all three parties and be based on the number of Tee Times booked each month.

When the system was totally under the control of developers few changes were made; moving forward all parties will have a say in its operations and an avenue will exists to make changes, the ability to pay your TP and PM online is the first of these long overdue changes.  Many more are needed to more effectively serve the residents and now we will have that ability.

The final big change coming is that the TP will now be indexed with the Consumer Price Index annually.  The price of everything, including course maintenance, continues to rise.  Currently the TP fees cover just over 20% of the Executive course operating and maintenance costs, and without CPI indexing to help maintain this ratio the funds would have to come from the Amenity budget’s general fund.  What would we have to give up to cover the shortfall?

Nobody likes losing a good deal but the toll of rising costs hits everyone and eventually things have to change, like it or not, we are at that point of change.

If you play more than one round of Executive golf a week the TP is worth the price, if you don’t play that much then just pay at the starter shack, or better yet, play for free, walk the course, and get some extra exercise while you’re at it.

Don Wiley is guest a contributor to The Resident Report; you can follow more of his work here.