Posts Tagged ‘kemper’

Kemper involved with Arts Center Promotions

I play golf at Union County public courses (although I wish I had alternatives) I’m on an email list with Kemper Sports, manager of the county courses Now I’m getting UCPAC mailings from Kemper.
Kemper no longer seems like only a golf management organization…

From: Galloping Hill
Subject: Union County Sensory Friendly Theatre
Date: January 9, 2014
Reply-To: Galloping Hill


Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Sensory Friendly Theatre
a series of live performances specially
designed and adapted for children
with autism and sensory sensitivity.

The Little Orchestra Society’s
Sunday, January 12 at 2PM
Tickets: $8
General Admission

Clap to the beat with Bang the Lion – the fuzzy face of the percussion family!
Join Bang and his best pal Buzz the Bee as they tap, tap, tap out kitchen
symphonies with pots, pans, spoons and kettledrums
to the tick-tock of the kitchen clock.

On the Orchestra’s menu – a tasting of Gershwin, Bizet and Britten.


Click here to view UC PAC’s entire Calender of Events.

Purchase tickets online at
or call 732-499-8226
Tuesday – 11am until 5pm
Wednesday – 11am until 5pm
Thursday – 11am until 8pm
Friday – 11am until 5pm
The Union County PAC Box Office is also open 2 hour prior to any ticketed event
and will remain open through intermission.
Groups of 10 or more may be entitled to a discounted ticket price.

Limited discounted tickets are available.

Call the box office today to make your reservations.

Paying to be Thirty-three

Since 2009 Union County has paid over $35,000 to New Jersey Monthly for what appears to be Runnells-related ads but it did buy them a feature story in the July issue on the 40 best public golf courses in New Jersey.  Galloping Hill came in at number 33 and Ash Brook was number 36.  There were 32 other courses in 13 other counties who did not spend (supposedly) $17.6 million on their operations who still came out ahead of the  Galloping Hill money pit and even Ash Brook, without tens of millions of dollars being sunk into it, managed to come within 3 slots of Galloping Hill.

But the interesting aspect of this publicity was the machinations that the NJ Monthly staff had to go through, from distractions to outright lying, to make their puff piece fly.  Some excerpts form the article with (my comments):

The selection of Galloping Hill—a Union County course where registered residents can play 18 holes on a weekend for just $31 ($47 with cart)—is the fruit of a rare public-private partnership: Union County; the NJSGA; Kemper Sports, a leading golf course management company; and TaylorMade, the world’s No. 1 golf-equipment maker, have together brought about a stunning turnaround for a course that just seven years ago was an embarrassment  (like every other area that is within the direct control of this dysfunctional system of governance) .

Maintenance on the 27-hole layout was slipshod….Galloping Hill in the early 2000s “was being run like a park,” says Armando Sanchez, who was hired as Union County’s director of golf operations in 2008. “The attitude was, ‘If we don’t cut the greens today, we’ll cut them tomorrow.’” (2008: 11 years into total Democrat control and 7 years into the Devanney era.  Was it Bush’s fault?)

(The next four paragraphs are on the food in a restaurant and banquet center that was still months from opening at press time.)

“When golfers come to Galloping Hill now,” Sanchez points out, “they receive treatment they usually see only at high-end daily-fee and private courses. But most important, they will be doing so at very affordable prices.” (Since Union County taxpayers will be squeezed for the millions of dollars this fiasco will lose every year.)

In 1995, the county hired prominent New Jersey-based golf architect Stephen Kay to renovate Galloping Hill. The project, completed in 2000, used three different contractors, of whom the first two had little or no golf experience. In the end, says one veteran observer, Galloping Hill got only “a Band-Aid.” (So what were the first two contractors experienced in? Political donations?)

By 2007, Galloping Hill—far from being ready to wrest the most prestigious state championship from the private clubs—was barely holding on. That year, for the first time, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders examined the economics of its three golf courses separately from the operation of the Department of Parks and Recreation. It discovered that golf was losing about $500,000 a year. (They lied.)

Devanney brought in Sanchez, who has a degree in golf management and had worked with Jack Nicklaus’s Golden Bear Industries. (No experience in personal training?  And where does one get a degree in golf management?)

In 2009, the county signed a five-year contract with Kemper Sports to manage the daily operation of Galloping Hill and Ashbrook. In the deal, expected to be renewed when it expires at the end of next year, Kemper is paid a monthly management fee, and the county retains all revenues except for retail sales in the pro shop. (That’s a lie.  Kemper also gets a cut of gross revenue over a certain amount plus construction management fees.  For 2012 Kemper got $4,224,630.76 out of the county including $56,768,66 as an incentive fee.)

The freeholders took the biggest step in 2010, when they approved $17.6 million in bonds to pay for the Learning Center, a new maintenance facility and the new clubhouse, whose second floor includes a large banquet hall—expected to produce significant revenue for the county (which will go to Kemper, DeCotiis, Netta, et. alia while the county absorbs the far more significant expenses.)

In June of this year, the clubhouse opened with the NJSGA’s flag flying from the roof. “It’s a dream come true,” (finding these chumps) says NJSGA executive director Steve Foehl. “It’s vital to our branding to be associated with a first-class facility like Galloping Hill.” In the first two years, the association will pay the county $5,000 a month rent; then the sum will increase 3 percent every three years till the end of the 10-year lease. By the end of May, the banquet space had already booked 80 events through 2016. “We are on target to hit about $5.6 million in revenue this year,” says Sanchez, “with operational costs at about $5.3 million.” (by county math).

The next phase begins this fall, when Montclair’s eminent golf architect, Rees Jones, known as the Open Doctor, begins preparing the course for the 2016 NJ Open. While 200 to 300 yards will be added to Galloping Hill’s 6,639-yard length, much of the work—like bunker renovations—will aim to “restore the classic feel of the golf course,” says Jones, “and provide regular golfers with as enjoyable an experience as possible” (and taxpayers with as excruciating an experience as possible).

Galloping Hill upgrade cost: $30 million?

33 of 64 votes


Galloping Hill upgrades are supposed to be costing $17 million, “which includes the construction of the the TaylorMade Performance Lab, the new driving range and the Clubhouse” according to a 9/27/11 Union County press release

It was reported that unexpected costs will boost the price tag.  Where do you think it will go?  Here are some clues:

Claremont Construction quoted $14,878,776 which includes the Learning Center.

Through July, 2012 Claremont Construction has been paid $8,171,276.60 and all improvements to Galloping Hill since 2009 total over $12.5 million though hidden fees for all the ‘on-call’ engineers, architects, and lawyers are not included (except in the UCIA billing which has DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick being paid $161,428, including $47,181 in 2012, for what is labeled on the UCIA Approved Bills listings as the ‘Union County Golf Course Project’.


Five votes for ‘Other’:

Wave to your money when on the GSP! 1
Eleventy four hundred six thousand! 1
Over $50 million with interest and $500K to $1 million min operating losses a yr 1
nothing-they are using free money 1
I will take a mulligan

High Cost of Golf in Union County

Oak Ridge golf course was closed in 2009 on the lie that it lost $400,000 in 2008.

Based on 2011 check registry information through May, 2011 for golf-related expenses  Kemper Sports has already been paid $808,395, Maser Consulting $43,375, Grass Roots Turf $3,902, USDirect Reservation System $9,786, the NJ DEP $1,440 for some application fee, and 16 ex-greenskeepers their salaries though they are not working on the golf courses.

Much more is coming:

Union County Citizens Forum: 3/31/11