Kingman golf course management going to Pitts

City staff will outline contract details in Council meeting this afternoon

KINGMAN - By the end of today Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course should have a new manager ready to take over operations on July 1.

City staff is set to propose a contract between Kingman and Cerbat Golf, LLC owner Levi Pitts to City Council today. Pitts, the current assistant golf professional at Cerbat Cliffs, is head of one of four organizations that submitted course management proposals to the city several months ago.

From 2002 to 2009, Pitts managed the Valle Vista Golf Course. In 2009, he entered into a contract with DPSports, Inc., which is owned by current Cerbat Cliffs Golf Professional Paul Mowry, to manage, among other things, the Cerbat Cliffs Pro Shop, the golf cart fleet and the driving range.

A five-person committee made up of Mayor John Salem, Councilwoman Janet Watson, City Manager Jack Kramer, Parks Director Mike Meersman and Finance Director Coral Loyd went through the proposals, conducted interviews and recommended Pitts as a finalist.

Once he was selected, Kramer, Meersman, Loyd and City Attorney Carl Cooper commenced contract negotiations.

According to the contract's cover page, the Pitts proposal stood out because a) it contained the best bottom-line revenue for the city based on pay-for-performance compensation, b) it contained the best marketing strategy for increasing rounds of golf over the length of the contract and c) it included the most complete and comprehensive plan.

Under Pitts's proposal, the city's share of annual Cerbat Cliffs revenue is $642,375 while Cerbat Golf, LLC's share is $477,625. The next best proposal bottom-line wise came from Golden West Golf Management and had the city's revenue share at $616,518 ($25,857 less than Pitts's proposal) and its share at $503,482 ($25,857 more than Pitts).

Revenue percentages are broken down according to each facet of the golf course.

Pitts must use his share of revenue to hire and pay staff, stock the pro shop and restaurant, and pay for anything associated with his responsibilities spelled out within the agreement.

For green fees, 26 percent goes to Pitts while 74 percent goes to the city. Revenue coming in from driving range fees, golf cart rental and the selling of season/annual passes is broken down the exact same way.

For alcohol sales as well as food and non-alcoholic beverage sales, 90 percent goes to Pitts while 10 percent goes to the city.

All golf cart, pull cart and equipment rental revenue goes to Pitts along with money coming from golf lessons and merchandise sales.

Lastly, all clubhouse and activity center rental revenue goes to the city.

The contract breaks down the division of responsibilities between the city and Pitts, who must operate the restaurant and pro shop along with the course and driving range.

Pitts must collect all fees imposed by the city for the operation/use of Cerbat Cliffs and maintain separate accounts for each of the course's functions. He must keep records of all money received and all expenditures made within each account and make daily deposits to the city's finance department. All records must be kept and made available to the city for annual auditing purposes as well.

Pitts must operate and maintain improvements at the course. Those improvements include stocking and operating the pro shop with golf-related merchandise and maintaining an inventory of golfing equipment for resale. Pitts gets to set the prices.

Keeping up with routine cleaning and maintenance of the city-provided golf cart fleet falls on Pitts' shoulders, too.

Also, Pitts gets to manage and schedule driving range operations, which includes providing routine maintenance to the range ball dispensing machine and replacing range balls and baskets when necessary.

Pitts must pay all utility and Internet costs outside of the electricity for the fountain and pond near the course's No. 9 hole. The city will provide $200 a month for compensation.

In turn, Kingman's responsibilities are spelled out within the proposed contract.

City staff is responsible for the supervision, maintenance and service of the golf course, including range, grounds and major maintenance of the golf carts, beverage cart, driving range dispensing machine and driving range golf ball retrieving machine.

Kingman must provide a minimum of 70 golf carts and one beverage cart and spend budgeted money for the promotion of the course. Also, when Pitts turns in the daily revenue, the city must credit the appropriate account and distribute Pitts's share in accordance with the contract.

If Council decides to not approve Pitts as the golf course manager, the committee that went through the proposals will need to pick the next best candidate and proceed with contract negotiations. Council may also decide to have staff rework the contract if it finds fault with the proposed contract.

If approved, Pitts' reign as Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course Manager begins July 1. The contract would then expire Dec. 31, 2015.

Council meets at 5:30 p.m. today at 310 N. Fourth St.