Sleepovers, Night Golf Could Save City Parks

Revenue-producing ideas range from sleepovers to night glow golf course

The San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department is looking for original ways to make money.

The City's Park and Recreation Commission on Thursday approved a plan to put more concession stands in city parks, sell off or lease extra public property and bump up charges for for tourists visiting the botanical gardens and Coit Tower. There are also some job cuts proposed that could shave about $2 million off the department's $12.4 million debt.

Now the plan now moves into the next phase -- the mayor's desk. From there, it will head to the Board of Supervisors for debate.

The supes will be looking at a range of ideas to help save the park and preserve staff as the department wallows in a financial shortfall.

One of the proposals is a fee for nonresidents visiting the City's botanical gardens. It could help spare the jobs of three of the Park's landscapers. It was floated last year but was knocked out of contention.

The revenue-producing ideas range from the expected to the San Francisco unique. Among them:

  • Night glow golf course
  • Organized sleepovers for some city parks
  • Segway and bicycle rentals
  • Public markets
  • Parking fees
  • Pilates and fitness boot camps

No matter what they decide, it's fairly certain the city leaders are on the same page when it comes to fixing the problem.

"We've all agreed that enough is enough." said the department's General Manager, Phil Ginsgerg. "The mission of this department is important enough to San Franciscans that it deserves to be funded sustainably and adequately."

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