Request for Proposals for Ala Wai Golf Course Driving Range Awarded to Topgolf Hawai‘i
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, May 2, 2018
Honolulu – Today, the city announced that it has selected Topgolf Hawai‘i to enhance and upgrade the existing driving range at the Ala Wai Golf Course.
Topgolf Hawaiʻi is a partnership between Topgolf USA Inc. and local companies The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group. On December 6, 2017, the Honolulu City Council passed a resolution authorizing the city to use the competitive sealed proposal process for the development and operation of a multi-tiered golf driving range facility at Ala Wai Golf Course. The city’s Request for Proposals (RFP) has been conditionally awarded as of April 26, 2018.
The proposed golf entertainment facility will be located on the driving range’s existing footprint, and the four-story driving range structure will be no taller than the nearby Ala Wai Golf Course clubhouse.
The agreement with the city ensures that longtime driving range enthusiasts will have the opportunity to continue to pay the affordable rates they pay now.
“By bringing Topgolf to the Ala Wai Golf Course in a public/private partnership, we’re able to offer a new experience for seasoned golfers as well as people who may have never picked up a club,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “This partnership will grow the sport of golf in our city, bring in additional revenue to better maintain one of the most heavily used municipal golf courses in our county, and add a new venue for families and friends to spend quality time together.”
The facility will include 108 hitting bays, patent protected driving range technology, food and beverage operations, meeting and event spaces, indoor and outdoor keiki play areas and a rooftop lanai.
“We are honored to be working with Topgolf to bring this popular golf concept to Hawai‘i, and we appreciate the company’s awareness of the uniqueness of Hawai‘i. Now that we have been granted the conditional award, we look forward to sharing and discussing our proposal with the community,” said Duncan McNaughton, chairman and founder of local developer The MacNaughton Group.
“Topgolf has many local supporters who have had the chance to visit Topgolf locations on the mainland. We look forward to everyone here being able to play Topgolf without having to fly out of state, and we appreciate Topgolf’s commitment to supporting local golfers and youth golf in our state,” said Bert Kobayashi, founder and a senior advisor to local developer Kobayashi Group.
“We are pleased to have been selected for this project, with our combined team of Topgolf, a leader in golf entertainment, and The MacNaughton Group and Kobayashi Group, two local companies with a track record for developing successful projects including new dining, shopping and entertainment experiences to residents in Hawai‘i,” said Craig Kessler, chief operating officer of Topgolf. “We are committed to actively working with our local partners, as well as residents and the broader community, to create a first-rate venue that enhances the local golf experience. We are committed to tailoring the design to Hawai‘i’s unique place, culture, and community – unlike any Topgolf venue in the world.”
Topgolf Hawai‘i will plan, design, finance, construct, operate and maintain the driving range under a proposed lease agreement with the city. The lease requires the approval of the City Council and of the State Board of Land and Natural Resources, since the golf course sits on state land that was transferred to the city’s control by executive order.
“Topgolf Hawai‘i’s proposal quadruples the gross revenue generated at the driving range and significantly improves the financial sustainability of the Golf Course Division,” said Guy Kaulukukui, Director of the City and County’s Department of Enterprise Services.
Big Q: Do you favor the proposed $50 million Topgolf project for the Ala Wai Golf Course?