By Joe Morey News Editor
Members of the Big Fish Golf Board of Directors presented a check for $72,000 to the Lac Courte Oreilles Tribal Governing Board (TGB) which was the total profits from the 2020 season.
Board member Chris Rusk said the TGB turned around and gave the entire amount plus an additional $20,000 back to the course to pay off new machines acquired this past season.
Big Fish Course Director, Indy Thompson, said course rounds were up 40% in 2020 and total revenue was up 30%. He attributed a lot of that growth to Covid-19 because many big city residents flocked to the Northwoods during the lockdowns.
In 2019, Big Fish showed a profit of 62,000. Thompson said the profits were actually higher than the $72,000 presented to the TGB because they used funds for various upgrades at the end of the season.
Chairman Louis Taylor acknowledged the Big Fish staff for the past two years of growth.
“When we bought Big Fish, the group who had previously owned it said it would take five years to show any profits, but we did it in the first year,” Taylor noted. “They weren’t making any money and we are so you have to recognize the excellent job our staff and management is doing over there. We appreciate all they do.”
Taylor said the TGB always hears about how great the course conditions are. He also acknowledged all the safety precautions the staff put in place during the pandemic which made people comfortable and willing to come and spend time at the course.
Thompson said this next year should also be a good year with the return of tournaments, leagues, larger group outings and stay and play packages with Sevenwinds Casino and other area hotels.
“We didn’t have the stay and play with the casino this past season because the hotel was closed during the pandemic,” Thompson explained. He added that an individual built two large homes at the entrance to the course that are used for rentals through the season. The course has stay and play packages with these homes as well.
Thompson said they are looking to expand and get more players for leagues this year and they are offering a free junior golf clinic for ages 8 to 18 that will occur from July 21 to August 18.
Thompson thanked the TGB for their continued support of the course. He also thanked the Big Fish staff.
“We have a great team here and they surely contribute to our success,” Thompson noted.
From L-R) TGB Member Gary "Little Guy" Clause, Sec-Treasurer Michelle Beaudin, Vice Chairwoman Lorraine Gouge, Big Fish Board Member Chris Rusk, LCO Chairman Louis Taylor and Big Fish Board Member Randy Cadotte.