Jones Golf Course in Cedar Rapids to be repurposed

Jones Golf Course in a May 2017 photo (KCRG File Photo)
Jones Golf Course in a May 2017 photo (KCRG File Photo)(KCRG)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 10:09 AM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Jones Golf Course, a long source of financial distress for the City of Cedar Rapids, will be repurposed but we don’t know yet what that will look like.

The Cedar Rapids City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to let the City Manager’s Office move ahead to develop plans to repurpose the golf course at Jones Park in the southwest quadrant.

Jones Golf Course has been closed for all of 2020 because of both COVID-19, derecho damage and flooding and was not projected to open until May 2021. Now, it will stay closed permanently.

The course has faced repeated flooding from Prairie Creek, closing 11 of the last 13 seasons because of flooding. That has cost the city tens of thousands of dollars each time to repair, not to mention lost revenue from not being open. That has contributed greatly to the financial deficit the city’s four golf courses have posted over the past decade at taxpayer expense.

Scott Hock, Cedar Rapids Parks and Rec Director, says that loss is almost entirely due to the losses at Jones and that closing Jones should make the city’s golf operations profitable. Twin Pines also operates at a slight loss but is expected to change that with the opening of a new miniature golf next year.

“The closure of the course would allow for the repurposing of Jones Golf Course to create a park destination that would be a draw for the entire Cedar Rapids Community," staff wrote in a memo to city council on the proposal.

What that new purpose will be exactly is uncertain. The list of possibilities include “a pickle ball complex, dog park, expanded disc golf course, pollinator prairie, wetlands and use of the clubhouse for programming and rentals” as well as enhanced options for winter activities like sledding or ice skating.

The city plans to gather community input to develop a plan that will need city council approval.

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