San Luis Obispo County officials heard an update this week on plans for El Chorro Regional Park. The park’s golf course has been partially closed for the past year, but it may soon become a golfing destination again—for people of all ages—with miniature golf and go karts.
Nick Franco, head of the county parks department, spoke to the county’s board of supervisors Tuesday.
“If you remember, we had a lot of water issues so we had to address that as it related to the golf course,” Franco said.
The county closed the front nine holes of the Dairy Creek golf course last summer due to a water shortage. Staff kept the back nine open and entered into a contract with the California Men’s Colony prison to reuse its recycled water to help keep the course green. The county then loaned Cal Poly the front nine holes and tasked them with taking care of that section. Franco said the public will soon be allowed to use the front nine again for golf practice when the Cal Poly golf team isn’t using it.
Keeping the golf course active is good for county, Franco said, because it still has years of payments left on the golf course. To bolster activities around the golf course, there are also plans to install miniature golf and a go kart track with about 20 electric karts.
“[It’s] something that isn't offered in this county and it would certainly increase usage there as a much-needed recreational resource," Franco said.
There are also plans to install TopTracer Golf at the park.
“It’s a bunch of hitting bays for golf that’s heated and has seating areas with food and beverage service,” Franco said.
The total cost for the planned park upgrades is just under $1.5 million dollars. The new activities are expected to bring in roughly $325,000 a year. Parks staff say the department needs the additional income because this year’s rainy winter weather hurt camping revenue and managers had to dip into savings.
Permits will likely to be issued in June, construction should begin in August and the new activities are expected to open in October of this year.
Franco said the mini golf course will have a windmill, but not classic Dutch kind. The El Chorro Regional Park mini-golf course will be agricultural-themed, with farm features and cow statues planned.