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Bidwell Park Golf Course Booze Talks Continue

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Updated: 10/28/2013 5:55 pm

A meeting tonight will determine whether the proposal to allow alcohol at Bidwell Park Golf Course will move forward. The Bidwell Park and Playground Commission will vote on the issue tonight. Even if passed, Chico City Council has the final word.

Swinging and drinking: for most golf courses across the country, these two go hand in hand. But not at Bidwell Park Golf Course.

“We're about the only golf course in the country that I know of that doesn't have alcohol,” Bidwell General Manager Courtney Foster said.

That could soon change. Monday night the Bidwell Park and Playground Commission will have a discussion, and vote on allowing alcohol on the course.

Restrictions on alcohol in Bidwell Park have been on the books since the mid 1990s.

Most of which has to do with Annie Bidwell's "wishes" to not have alcohol on the land her family donated.

“The times are changing; the economy is in a funny spot. And I think we need to think of new and creative ways to help businesses out,” Bidwell Park and Playground Commission member Mark Herrera said.

Foster estimates 90 percent of calls he has with potential clients looking to use his golf course fall through when he tells them no booze allowed.

“The number one comment from people that ‘shop’ us or online is: it would have been nice to have a beer with our round,” Foster said.

Dan Trevithick has considered Bidwell his golfing home since 1967.

He’s tired of seeing the shenanigans that go along with people brining in their own 12-packs.

“I think it will curtail people bringing in large amounts to binge drink. It also will provide a source of income for a course that is really hurting for it,” Trevithick said.

In a proposal to the city, the golf course estimates ten-thousand more rounds of golf, and close to $400,000 in increased revenue if granted a license.

Herrera said it should be a close vote tonight. But even if the commission passes it, it will have to go to the city council.

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