Topgolf to tee off in the Duke City after city council approval
July 02, 2018 10:21 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Topgolf is poised to soon tee off in the Duke City.
On Monday city councilors voted to lure an out-of-state entertainment company to do business in Albuquerque. Councilors, economic development officials and the mayor's office debated over what exactly Topgolf must promise if handed $700,000 in city funds and $1.8 million in tax rebates over the course of a decade.
The company says it will bring with it over 150 new jobs, and the Dallas-based company could potentially reign in millions in revenue in the long-term.
Councilor Ken Sanchez said he believes the attraction could be a hit.
"Right now that property has been vacant," he said, referring to the southwest corner of I-25 and Montaño, the site of the old Beach Waterpark that closed over 10 years ago.
Officials with the competing golf company Big Shots were upset they weren't up for any city incentives.
"We feel a little jilted," Norm Schreifels of BigShots Golf said. "We haven't asked the city for any money."
BigShots, which is set to be constructed near Balloon Fiesta Park, is already promising to pay Albuquerque employees more.
"We're starting probably at $2 an hour higher than TopGolf does nationwide," Schreifels said.
The incentives come with a price tag – Topgolf must provide at least 132 full-time jobs or be subject to paying fines to the city. Though competing businesses may have missed out, Sanchez said helping Topgolf is worth taking the swing.
"We feel these incentives in the long run will benefit the City of Albuquerque, and there are clawbacks that protect the taxpayers of our community," he said.
Keller's office, meanwhile, said it's an over-the-top incentive package a raw deal for city taxpayers.
Updated: July 02, 2018 10:21 PM
Created: June 18, 2018 06:18 PM
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