The Loppet Slush Fund


In 2016, the MPRB entered into a contract with The Loppet to take over Winter Sports Activities for the MPRB and to implement new contruction at Theodore Wirth Golf Course to accommodate the Loppet and Loppet-related activites. For 2017, it is still unclear what the effect of the Loppet contract had on the revenue of the golf courses, in particular, Theodore Wirth Golf Course.
The 2017 unaudited budget declaration, p. 13, states, “Expenditures were increased by $1,000,000 at Theodore Wirth Regional Park related to site improvements for the Adventure and Welcome Center and golf course. The new Adventure and Welcome Center is for the Loppet activities including winter skiing and bike trails, and also replaces the Par 3 golf course building with the new Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center building. According to Resolution 2016-252, $89,000 to $97,900 of the $1 million expenditure was approved for renovating the golf course bunkers. The rest of the money was spent because ‘modification of the golf course is necessary to allow for the implementation of the Wirth Adventure and Welcome Center, which will occupy the location of existing holes #17 and #18, as per the approved Theodore Wirth Regional Park Master Plan.’” So, the majority of the cost ($900,000) is not to enhance the golf course but to accommodate Loppet activities: cross-country skiing, bike paths and trails. To make this accommodation, several holes on the 18- hole and 9-hole golf courses were moved and reconstructed. These changes were not required by the golf course. We don’t know where the $900,000 was expensed. Were these costs expensed against the golf course budget or against the winter sports budget or against the general Enterprise Budget?
Also, along with the construction costs, the Theodore Wirth Golf Courses (18-Hole and Par 3 courses) were under construction during 2017, so the revenues will naturally be down for these golf courses (due to construction required to support NON-GOLF activities).
While talking about winter sports activities, part of the Enterprise Budget, here are the profit/(loss) figures for Winter Activities from the Annual Reports:
Revenue Expenses Profit/(Loss)
2007 $98,131 $376,359 ($278,228)
2008 $101,528 $260,050 ($158,522)
2009 $164,258 $262,661 ($98,403)
2010 $78,351 $112,191 ($33,840)
2011 $43,591 $95,075 ($51,484)
2012 $188,422 $437,715 ($249,293)
2013 $250,346 $592,134 ($341,788)
2014 $182,008 $656,759 ($474,751)
2015 $118,449 $851,895 ($733,446)
2016 $100,467 $773,905 ($673,438)
2017 $0 $53,351 ($53,351)
That’s total losses of $3,146,544 over 10 years that Minneapolis taxpayers have paid to support The Loppet and other winter sport activities. The Loppet current lease on their Welcome Center requires them to pay 18% of their net annual operating income as rent, and, since they have never had a net operating income, their rent will be $0.

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