m2717 BC-MN-AroundMinn-GolfDo 04-02 0310
High heating costs forces closure of Hermantown golf dome
HERMANTOWN, Minn. (AP) — High heating costs are leading an indoor golf dome here to close permanently this month.
The Golf Skydome Recreation Center will be deflated, and owner David Kolquist will try to sell the 10-year-old dome.
"It’s officially coming down for the last time, and not coming up again," Kolquist said. "At least, not at this location."
The high heating costs have affected many indoor golf facilities around the state.
Ryan Gilsrud, manager of the Stardome Inc. indoor golf range near St. Cloud, said energy costs have been painful. "We cry every time we look at the heating gauge outside," Gilsrud said.
Kolquist said his winter natural gas heating bills were between $2,000 and $3,000 a month with the Skydome operating seven days a week in 1998. The dome was open just three days a week during the winter months in 2008, and Kolquist estimates if it had been open seven days the winter heating costs would have risen to $20,000 a month.
Another reason for the closing has to do with Kolquist’s desire to have the Skydome open year-round instead of deflating it during warmer weather. The city couldn’t reach an agreement that would have allowed him to do that, he said.
While golf enthusiasts may take the closing as bad news, fans of sand volleyball have reason to celebrate. Kolquist plans to install six volleyball courts for league play in the dome’s place.
Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com