County hopes firm’s college connection puts courses on par

Company led by CUW golf coach hired to improve food, beverage service
Ozaukee Press staff

With the hiring of a new concessionaire who has built-in access to a college-age labor force, officials are hopeful that service at the two Ozaukee County-owned golf courses will noticeably improve and provide stability that has been lacking the past several years.

The county agreed earlier this month to contract with CDG Sport and Hospitality Group to operate concessions at Hawthorne Hills and Mee-Kwon golf courses.

One of the CDG principals is Greg Nikolai, the men’s and women’s head golf coach at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon.

“We’re looking to get into this thing and get going,” Nikolai told supervisors on the Natural Resources Committee on Feb. 2.

The contract calls for CDG to pay the county 4% of gross revenues, which Nikolai estimated at around $500,000, based on the number of rounds played at the two courses.

That means the county would collect about $20,000 compared to $6,000 in 2022, when the concessions were run by Milwaukee B&E Partners, a subsidiary of The Bog golf course.

“Even though the contract with B&E also called for 4% of gross revenues, we settled for a flat fee of $6,000 because year-end financials weren’t available,” Planning and Parks Director Andrew Struck said. “There was not good documentation.”

Installation of a new point of sales, or POS, system will allow the county to more accurately track sales, he said.

Struck said he couldn’t give a firm estimate of what the county will make based on the 4% agreement because past record-keeping was so shoddy.

“I know that’s not a good answer but we won’t be making less,” he told supervisors. “At the end of the day, what’s most important to us is good service to our golfers.

“One of our biggest complaints has been about concessions, especially at Hawthorne Hills.”

Struck said he is hopeful that CDG will stabilize the golf course concessions business, which has been in flux for several years.

The contract with B&E Partners was terminated at the end of the 2022 golf season due to “somewhat of a performance matter,” mainly due to staffing issues, Struck said.

With CDG’s connections with Concordia students and staff, officials are hopeful some of those staffing issues can be averted.

“We have the ability to hire and train staff and we have access to a fairly large pool of people who want to work in the golf and food and beverage business,” Nikolai said.

Nikolai said he and his partners have been involved in the restaurant business for more than a decade.

Struck called Nikolai and the CDG group “very enthusiastic.”

“Their venture is a little new but they have a lot of experience,” Struck said. “We’re really looking forward to having consistent service for our customers. I’m very optimistic.”



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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Port Washington, WI 53074
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