Balmy temperatures, abundant sunshine and just the right amount of rain made 2015 one for the record books at Wicker Memorial Park.
Led by an increase in the number of golfers frequenting the links, the 226-acre park generated more than $917,000 in revenue last year, second only to 2012.
Golf fees, carts and duffer-related concessions generated $574,000 – nearly 60 percent of all park revenues – while picnic shelter rentals, the splash pad, special events and concessions added another $373,000 to the bottom line.
“After many years of navigating unexpected costs because of weather and other natural disasters, it appears we are coming out on top and are very close to break-even at Wicker Park,” North Township Trustee Frank Mrvan said. “We are hoping 2016 is that breakthrough year for us where we are able to generate a profit.”
Activities, such as concerts, movies in the park and not-for-profit walks, along with recreational pursuits that include a splash pad, sand volleyball, tennis courts, walking trails and a dog park, draw hundreds of thousands visitors to the park each year.
“Wicker Memorial Park has been a haven for township residents for almost 90 years. We have seen growth in the number of people using the park every year I have been trustee,” Mrvan said.
“My goal and that of my staff is to make the park pay for itself. Any profit will be used to create additional programs – concerts, senior and children’s activities – to improve the quality of life for township residents. Golf is our financial anchor. It allows us to keep the Wicker Park course on par with others and continue upgrading facilities.”
Published January 7, 2016