Customers of Lakepoint State Park,

Over the past decade the Sanctuary Golf Course at Lakepoint State Park has experienced declining play and related diminishing revenues.  In conjunction with national changes in golf as a sport, and the competitive circumstances associated with having two new Robert Trent Jones courses within a one-hour’s drive, the probability of our course securing enough play to financially break-even is low.  Two golf courses in the Columbus area recently closed, and two more there are slated to close in the near future.  We believe this demonstrates that the challenges we have faced in maintaining a profitable golf operation are not unique to our one course at Lakepoint State Park.

This past month we advertised the bid opportunity for the course as a potential concession operation hoping that we might secure a new partner to manage and operate the course under a 12 year contract.  We also initiated a direct mailing of our bid packages to 26 golf management firms.  Despite this effort, we received no bids.

Over the past year we have inquired with local government leaders about the possibility of the course being taken over by the City of Eufaula.  While some municipalities operate public golf courses, this does not appear to be a viable consideration for them at this time.

Based on our present financial circumstances associated with the transfer of $30 Million from the Conservation Department and State Parks to the State’s General Fund over the last five years, the recent history of play on the course, and the outcome of our recent efforts to outsource management of the course, we believe we have no other present option but to close the course.  This effort, while difficult, will save us about $125,000 per year in losses and other expenses, and assist Lakepoint State Park in achieving a profitable operation for FY2016.

It is our intention to close the course as of November 30th, 2015.


Gregory M. Lein


The Alabama State Parks System is implementing a new contingency operations plan that will go into effect on October 1 and includes closure of a number of parks and park operations, reduction in staff and operational hours at additional parks and park facilities, as well as a potential concession operation for one facility and other new approaches to serving the public. Beginning October 15, the following five parks will be closed: Bladon Springs, Paul Grist, Chickasaw, Florala and Roland Cooper.

In addition to the closure of these 5 parks, a number of parks and park facilities will reduce staff and operational hours. Changes include:
● Effective October 15, closure of Bucks Pocket campground and transition to an unmanned, day-use park to be managed by a nearby resort park.
● Effective November 15, Rickwood Caverns and Blue Springs to be closed during Fall and Winter, slated to reopen as seasonal business increases.
● Effective December 1, DeSoto and Cheaha hotel and restaurant will operate on weekends only.
● Effective October 15, closure of Bucks Pocket campground and transition to an unmanned, day-use park to be managed by a nearby resort park.
We will attempt to transfer the golf course at Lakepoint to a concessionaire and if that is unsuccessful, the golf course will be closed.    

Over the last 5 years, more than $30 million has been transferred  from the ADCNR to the general fund to support other state programs. The state parks system alone has been forced to transfer half of the $30 million from its division. We spent months of tirelessly working to educate the public and legislative on the impact of 5th year of transfers would have on our system.

We can’t afford to run our current system with a continued loss of revenue due to this chronic problem of legislative transfers from our parks division to the general fund budget. These closures are going to negatively impact our state – from the citizens in the communities where they exist, to the dedicated staff at these parks who have worked so hard serving the public for many years.

We will continue to work with all interested parties to educate everyone on the importance of securing permanent and protected funding that will ensure that the entire park system remains open for all Alabamians throughout the state.


  Lakepoint Sanctuary Golf Course