The 2018-2019 fiscal year results reflect the focus and efforts of this and prior boards along with the continued efforts of management and staff. Looking back the challenge was to grow membership, reduce losses in the restaurant, eliminate the debt burden and restore financial stability. Looking forward the challenges are to finalize the land sale of #6, carry out the financial plan approved by membership, restore the golf course, rebuild a cart barn and establish a strategic planning committee to assist the board in charting the direction of the club.
We ended the fiscal year with 551 members in all categories. Golf memberships represent 85% of dues revenue and grew by 4%. We added 50 new golf members and had a net gain of 12 golf
members. The club will continue to focus on growing membership and believe we have a top-flight golf course, improving facilities, an inviting membership and the financial stability to grow in a highly competitive market.
Food and Beverage made a $44,000 positive contribution toward operations overhead. Sales grew by 9% year over year driven by both member dinning and outside banquets. The cost of goods grew by less than 1%. Expenses were reduced by 8%. Historically F&B was a drain of over $100,000 annually on available operating funds. The private dinning industry benchmark is a loss of 3% of income from dues, so our results were not surprising. Reduced hours of operation, narrowing menu options and member reservations have helped. Regularly scheduled events such as jazz night, Taco Tuesday and wine tasting have increased dinning traffic. The recently added Saturday breakfast was a member suggestion we hope will generate the volume to be viable long-term. Chef Darrin and Christie have produced consistent quality food with balanced and attentive service. If the Oregon Golf Association had an award for most improved F&B we would have won easily.
We closed on the sale of the land adjacent #6 in January and began the process of implementing the land sale financial plan. The bank debt was retired and we established monthly funding of both a long-term capital account and a short-term capital account. The short-term account was prefunded with $100,000 for emergency repairs and we set aside funds for the restoration of the golf course, cart barn replacement and relocation of the nursery. There are still a number of large projects moving toward completion, but we are coming out the other side of a multi-year effort to sell land and use the funds to strengthen the financial base of the club.
We face continued long-term challenges in Central Oregon with overbuilt golf opportunities and an economy with a boom-to-bust history. One role of the newly formed strategic planning committee will be to develop a financial stability plan that takes into account an appropriate safety net and reserve fund for expected and unexpected capital expenditures. Protecting our future as a club is as important as looking at ideas to improve the facilities and member experience.
Without a doubt we are much stronger financially moving into the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Growth of net golf memberships by 30 to 40 in the coming years is a realistic target that would produce the dues income to cover wage inflation and allow us to get ahead of the costs of repairs and replacement of depreciating assets.
The golf course is our most important asset. The condition of the golf course this past season has never been better. I learned there is a lot more to preparing a top-quality course then growing and mowing grass. Attention to detail and an artistic eye have transformed the course into a gem. We recognize the transformation and work of the grounds crew with every round played. In October it was special to see Scott Moffenbeier recognized as Superintendent of the Year by the Oregon Golf Association (OGA).
To read the full BGC Annual Report, log into Member Central and look just below the calendar.