Wanaki Golf Course in Menomonee Falls has been sold by Waukesha County to a family business that owns and operates several area golf courses and driving ranges.
Wanaki has operated at a loss for years, which depleted the county’s golf course reserve fund, county officials said in a news release. It also needed more than $645,000 in repair and replacement projects, they said.
“This agreement fulfills the goals we have had all along – preservation of golf in Waukesha County while protecting taxpayers’ investment,” Waukesha County executive Paul Farrow said in a statement.
County officials have authorized the sale of the course to an affiliate of the Storm Family Group, which has been involved in the local golf industry for 68 years. The Storm family owns and operates several area golf courses including Missing Links in Mequon, St. John’s Northwestern Golf Course in Delafield and Brookfield Hills. The family also owns Storm’s Golf ranges in Oconomowoc and in Brookfield.
Along with members of the Storm family, Milwaukee Brat House and Jack's American Pub owner Scott Schaefer will operate Wanaki Golf Course.
"We think Wanaki is in great shape and we really like the facilities," Schaefer said. "We're looking forward to expanding the food and beverage program, but also have it continue being a great facility."
Since 2001, Wanaki Golf Course has experienced annual net cash flow losses between $41,000 and $243,000, according to county officials. The county’s golf course reserve funds have declined since 1997 due to net operating cash flow losses and necessary infrastructure investments, officials previously said.
Wanaki Golf Course opened in 1970. The county acquired the 150-acre Wanaki property, located northwest of Lannon (County Highway Y) and Lisbon (County Highway K) roads, in 1967 after receiving an Outdoor Recreation Aids Program (ORAP) grant.
Waukesha County golf courses are funded by their own operations and do not use property tax revenues.
The county’s two other golf courses, Naga-Waukee War Memorial Golf Course and Moor Downs Golf Course, will remain open. Revenue generated from these courses will be reinvested into the golf course fund to improve the financial sustainability of the golf course operations. No tax dollars are used to support either course.