Hope Golf Club bounces back after devastating flood – Hope Standard
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November brought devastating flooding to Hope Golf Club, but that wasn’t enough to bring it down.
The floods hit the golf course hard. A significant portion of the course was submerged under four feet of water, destroying many holes. Green number seven has become an island, completely inaccessible.
Bonnie and Vince Cianfagna of Hope Golf Club were completely devastated. They were just beginning to recover from the hit of the COVID pandemic, only to encounter another setback.
“We were both shaking our heads and I remember thinking, ‘shall we stop this?’ said Bonnie.
After the water finally drained, there were still rocks and other debris to deal with.
The couple felt a loyalty to the people who adopted the golf club and decided to move forward with its repair.
However, they did not act alone. The nonprofit Hope Golf and Country Club kicked into high gear and led the cleanup and repair efforts. Everyone was eager to volunteer time, equipment and hard work to fix the course.
Offers came not just from residents of Hope, but from across the province.
The beloved golf course was closed for months, but opened on March 11 as a reduced course.
Only five holes are playable, which golfers go through twice. There is optimism all holes will be available to play by mid-July.
“The golf course is not only a playground for golf lovers, but it brings a lot to the city. It helps a lot of local businesses,” Bonnie said.
The Hope Golf Club typically has 24-30 weddings booked each year, which usually attracts many visitors. This allows a number of businesses in the city to benefit from the additional people. More hotel rooms are reserved and restaurant tables reserved than normal.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the club has reduced bookings to just seven weddings per year. One of the couples getting married at the golf club has been waiting since 2019 to get married and will finally be able to get married in June.
The Hope Golf Club is important for retirees, who are among regular golfers, Bonnie said.
Tournaments for the men’s and women’s leagues are also an integral part of the club’s operations, but it is uncertain whether they can resume this summer season. The decision will be reassessed in the coming months.
Although the public has shown their support, repairs to the course are costing millions. The course has been rejected by all types of funding available because it sits on a flood plain making it unqualified for most financial support resources.
“We’re really trying to get any kind of funding we can,” Bonnie said.
Bonnie and Vince Cianfagna are optimistic they can “make ends meet” for the rest of the year and hope to be profitable in 2023.