After almost 15 years, Bergsieker is sad to leave but says he has plans for the next stage of his life.
“I’m going to travel and I’ve got a lot of projects at the house to do. I may even take up golf, it seems like a fun game to play,” he joked.
The city council voted on Tuesday to hire Don Cummings, the owner of River Bend golf course, as the new manager.
Mayor Randy Stephens said he was sad to see Bergsieker go, but glad to have someone with Cummings’ qualifications to step up to the challenge.
“Jack has been a great asset to the city and the golf course, he leaves big shoes to fill,” Stephens said.
Cummings echoed that sentiment, ”They are going to miss Jack, he’s done a great job.”
Cummings originally got into the golf course business in1993, with a nine-hole course in Union Chapel. In 2000, he purchased River Bend. He said business at the course was good for many years, with a peak membership of more than 300, but a series of natural disasters and a nationwide financial downturn cut into the success of the course.
“We had a flood in 2009 that really hurt us,”Cummings explained. “Then the tornado in 2011 destroyed us. We were a family-owned business and we were just never really able to recover.”
Shuttering the doors at River Bend means that Cummings plans to bring his 115 members to Horse Creek.
Cummings said he is excited to be at Horse Creek, but the thing he is most excited about is that his wife finally gets to retire from the golf business, after supporting his dream for almost 20 years.
“She’s stood behind me through thick and thin and through storms and floods so it’s time she gets to retire,” he said with a laugh.
Another incentive aimed at increasing membership to the course was the creation of an annual senior rate. The new membership option was passed by the council on Tuesday night. Stephens, who introduced the new senior membership package, said he feels that the rate will be a good option for seniors on a limited income who want to enjoy a game of golf.
The annual senior rate will be $500 for unlimited rounds of golf on weekdays before noon, no weekends or holidays are included. It will be open to anyone 60 or older.
For adults or other seniors who don’t want this package, the traditional packages will still be available. The per-round rates will also stay the same — $39 per round on weekends and holidays, $29 per round on weekdays and $26 for seniors on weekdays.