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Cheaper golf is on the way--and maybe booze, too

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The San Luis Obispo City Council voted Jan. 5 to authorize alcohol sales at the city-owned golf course, as well as to offer monthly passes and discounted fees. The 3-2 vote paves the way for an off-peak rate of $10 per round—a dollar cheaper than the previous standard rate—for play between the hours of noon and 3 p.m. starting Feb. 1. The fees will remain $8.25 for play after 3 p.m.

The new discounts won’t make up for the $2 rise in fees that hit golf fans last July, nor will it offset the $1 increase due this summer.

The council split over the issue of alcohol: Council members Jan Howell Marx and Allen K. Settle voted against the changes because they said alcohol consumption so close to a junior high school and sold by a city facility would be a bad idea.

 “Why don’t we sell beer out front before a City Council meeting?” Settle asked, presumably rhetorically.

That innovative idea was met with approval by at least half the remaining spectators in the council chambers.

The green light for alcohol may not actually bring booze to the city golf course; the parks and recreation department has tried to get a company to run the concession, but there were no takers. City staffers speculated that it might have something to do with the small facilities at the course. One of the requirements of alcohol sales would be to refurbish the concession stand.

The parks and recreation staff said the discounts would be required to draw a 10 percent increase in golf course users to begin to make the changes pay off for the city. The city subsidizes the course to the tune of $100,000 a year.

The changes at the golf course will be on a six-month trial basi

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