GreatLife Golf and Fitness CEO reacts to Sioux Falls golf course decision

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - GreatLIFE Malaska Golf and Fitness Club has continued to purchase and partner with golf courses around the Sioux Falls area. When the company put in a bid to manage the Sioux Falls city courses, it was rejected.

Thomas Walsh Sr. says he was disappointed the city didn't accept his bid. He also says he thought Dakota Golf should have been given another chance, since the past three years Elmwood was under costly construction.

"The city is going to spend over 1 million dollars getting up to speed," Walsh said.

He says this because the city opted for a management option with Landscapes Unlimited. GreatLIFE offered a management option and a lease option.

"The city courses have lost income three years in a row. They're at pace to lose over $600,000 in 2017, so it's going to be hard for them to justify to taxpayers the amount of money they are going to spend on golf holes when they should probably be spending it on potholes," Walsh said.

These past three years a lot of the course’s money has gone to the Elmwood construction.

Sioux Falls will be paying for equipment for Landscapes Unlimited and paying $75,000 a year. In return the city will get 89% of total sales.

While Walsh says the city courses will not be able to compete with GreatLIFE very well, he says the company chosen is a good one.

“Landscapes is a great company, I have worked with them before. They should do just as good of a job as any outsider could,” Walsh said.

“I just think Dakota Golf and Tom Jansa, going through all the renovations, deserved a chance to see what they could do when they didn't have construction going on,” he said.

City councilor Marshall Selberg was on the RFP committee that chose Landscapes Unlimited. He said of all the bids, the 6 panel committee all had the Nebraska-based company come out on top.

He said different food and beverage options, better training employees among other things will help the city courses compete with GreatLIFE.

Thomas Walsh says it will be tough.

As for GreatLIFE, Walsh says the company continues to grow. He says GreatLIFE is looking to build another golf course on the southwest side of town off 41st street and Tea Ellis Rd.