City mulling what to do with old LaCroix Links golf course

By  | 

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- What do you do with 25 acres of open space in Rapid City? That's the question the city's parks division is asking as it re-imagines what will become of the land that was once LaCroix Links golf course.

For 15 years the YMCA leased the property and ran the golf course. In December the Y notified the city that it could no longer make the project work financially.

"In the last four years we saw the course use drop by 26 percent," said YMCA Executive Director Roger Gallimore. "But more importantly we saw that the kid participating in the program drop off about 46 percent."

The result was that the YMCA returned the course to the city. But the city wasn't prepared to take on running a golf course on the property.

"What we're doing now is regular maintenance," said Rapid City Parks Division Manager Scott Anderson. "We're not maintaining it as a golf course. We're just maintaining it as park land so it's just on a regular mowing route. We do have some internal planning going on for this area."

Those plans include possible biking and hiking trails, a disk golf course and an integration with neighboring parks.

"We have the Centennial Park and we also have the LaCroix Links golf course area and the Minnesota Street Soccer area (nearby) and it would be great to create a master plan that ties these areas all together and allow the people of Rapid City to use them all as one," said Chelsea Levorsen who is a landscape designer with the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department.

The parks division hopes to bring some proposals for the property to the city's parks advisory board later this year or early next year.