BELMONT PARK IS AMERICA'S GOLF COURSE
in the heart of lakeside.
Designed in 1916 by famed golf course architect A.W. Tillinghast, Belmont Park Golf Course is one of the most historic and distinguished public golf courses in all of North America. Originally built as part of Hermitage Country Club, this 18-hole golf course is located in the Lakeside neighborhood of Henrico County, VA (a few miles north of Richmond).
In 1949, Belmont Park was host to the PGA National Championship (won by Golf Hall of Famer Sam Snead). It is the only course in Virginia to ever host a golf major (and one of the few championship courses open to the public).
The course, owned and managed by the Henrico County Department of Parks and Recreation, is open to all visitors. For as little as $20, you can walk the same fairways as some of the greatest players in golf history.
Unfortunately, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors is considering other uses for the park - which may not include golf. Citing a decline in revenues for the course in recent years, the Board has directed county officials to develop a master plan for the site. This century-old slice of golf history is now in danger of being redeveloped.
Preserve Belmont supports the continued development of Belmont Golf Course as an inclusive, diverse, and community-centered venue - one that enhances the quality of life in Lakeside and nearby communities. We are committed to preserving Belmont Park as an 18-hole golf course open to the public (while also helping the county develop innovative new recreational programs, educational opportunities and revenue streams to help maximize return on investment).
> Belmont's Future May Not Include Golf (Henrico Citizen)
KEEPING GOLF AT Belmont
makes good sense financially.
Don't believe Henrico County leadership who claim that Belmont is a burden on taxpayers. We've looked at the numbers and their claims don't hold water.
Belmont generates more revenue than all other Henrico County Parks combined. While the rest of the park system collects an average of $625,000 a year, Belmont has collected an average of over $700,000 each year for the past five years.
Because it generates revenue, Belmont also costs considerably less to run than similarly-sized Henrico County parks. If Belmont were converted into a public park without golf, we estimate it would cost County taxpayers and additional $396,000 per year to maintain (based on the per-acre maintenance costs of Deep Run and Three Lakes, two similarly-sized Henrico County parks).
Source: FY20 Proposed Budget, Recreation and Parks; additional data provided by Henrico Co.
BELMONT improves the quality of life (and tax base) in lakeside.
Belmont Park Golf Course benefits not just golfers, but the Lakeside community as a whole. Its continued operation is vital to the future economic success of the neighborhood.
Lakeside is experiencing a resurgence. New residents are attracted to the neighborhood's small-town charm and proximity to Richmond. Restaurants, breweries and shops have opened in the neighborhood in recent years, further strengthening the tax base. Residential property values around the golf course (and the taxes they generate) are on the rise, making it one of Henrico County's most desirable mid-priced neighborhoods.
Redevelopment of Belmont Park Golf Course, and the loss of this historic park, will negatively impact Lakeside and its citizens. It will decrease property values, increase security costs and remove the park's ability to generate revenue for the County.
FACT: BELMONT is HENRICO'S TOP sports tourism destination.
Sports tourism is a major economic driver for Henrico County. In FY2018, the county had revenues of over $26.8 million - most of which is attributed to the growth in tourism (with sports tourism specifically cited). Additional revenues for the county also come from meals, lodging taxes, and retail sales tied to these events.
Recognizing this potential, Henrico County has made multi-million dollar investments in this area - to position the county as one of the top sports destinations in Virginia and beyond. The county currently proposes $87.1 million in new construction and upgrades to existing facilities to further cement its status as a sports leader in the Commonwealth.
What Henrico leadership fails to acknowledge is that Belmont attracts more out-of-state visitors than any other park in the County. In the past five years, golfers from 48 states and Washington, D.C. played the course (representing each state except Montana and Wyoming)*. In addition, over 30 foreign visitors made the trip to Belmont, some from as far away as Australia.
With proper management and minimal investment, Henrico County can establish Belmont Park Golf Course as one of the East Coast's premier golf tourism destinations. It is a vital component to solving the County's sports tourism puzzle.
* Source: Belmont Visitor Database 2014-2019, supplied by Henrico Co.
> $87.1 Million Proposed for Parks (Henrico Co.)
> Henrico Sports Tourism (Richmond BizSense)
BELMONT Park is OPEN to EVERYONE.
Golf is often viewed as an elitist sport - one of country club memberships, high-priced equipment, and hyper-competitiveness among players. But Belmont Park Golf Course welcomes players from all walks of life... regardless of their socioeconomic status, age or playing ability. Belmont makes a historically exclusive game accessible to all.
Golfers are first attracted to Belmont Park's central location and reasonably priced greens fees. But they keep coming back because it's a warm, welcoming place for all types of players.
SAVE GOLF IN HENRICO
FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS
When you join Preserve Belmont, you will receive regular updates on the status of Belmont Park Golf Course. You will also be informed of ways that you can help our cause - by attending meetings, volunteering, and letting your voice be heard.