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Sale of local golf courses won’t hurt Quinte

By Buckley Smith [1]

BELLEVILLE – Despite the news of three local golf courses being up for sale, Dug Stevenson, the director of tourism at Bay of Quinte Tourism [2], says he isn’t worried.

There are still more than 20 golf courses in this area, Stevenson said, and there have recent initiatives to market those courses to tourists.

“Our advantage in golf is that we are smack dab in the middle of two huge city centres,” Stevenson told QNet News, referring to Toronto and Ottawa. “Regardless of what happens with these courses (up for sale), I think the important thing to remember is we’re very strong when it comes to golf in the region.”

Recent media reports [3] have confirmed that at least one of the courses, Oak Hills [4] near Stirling, will remain a golfing facility.

The future of the other two courses, Wellington on the Lake [5] and Poplar Golf Course [6], is still up in the air.

But if they continue to function as golf courses, Stevenson said, he sees this as a great opportunity for the area.

“If a sale is made, and the right person takes the course over, it could be a driving force for tourism.”

With such an established golf industry in the Quinte [7] region already, Stevenson said, he thinks the courses that are for sale could be a great opportunity for a new owner.

“It’s an opportunity for them to build the product and include it in the arsenal we have to put out across the province as a leading golf region.”

Along with the golf industry, Stevenson says he sees tourism in the Quinte region thriving as well.

“All of a sudden we are becoming a premier destination in South-Eastern Ontario for people to visit because we’ve got 1200 kilometres of waterfront (in the Bay of Quinte), we’ve got over 30 conservation areas, we’ve got Prince Edward County as the fastest growing wine region in Ontario,” said Stevenson. “We’ve got all these assets people want to come see, and they want to come back again.”