The Junta has stunned people by announcing a 5 million euro investment into a public golf school at El Toyo II complex, just outside Almería city.
The amazement doesn’t stem from the fact that they are finally investing something into the “failed” urbanisation -it’s been vitually abandoned since the crisis and the few residents there keep saying the place is a ghost town with no public infrastructure – but rather that there is already a public / private golf school in El Toyo, which has been crying out for funds, and won’t see a eurocent of the new funds.
The (PP controlled) County Council has publically asked how the Junta can find 5 million euros to duplicate this service, when it has admitted it doesn’t have the cash to pay for vital civil works in the province such as the Almanzora motorway, the Almeria prenatal hospital or the AVE.
The El Toyo urbanisation was supposed to be a luxury complex on the outskirts of Almeria city, towards the natural park, with golf courses. It was planned to be an upmarket extension of the city, with all the infrastructure you’d expect, such as schools, clinics, etc.
However, the crisis intervened and now even the rubbish pickup is sketchy. The luxury hotels are closed for six months of the years, half the golf course is abandoned and the place is generally a mess. Which 5 star hotel stayer is going to want to go there?
José Ramos, the chap who runs the current school, reckons there are 10 golf courses in Almería and fewer than 3,000 federated golf players. “We don’t have the demand for one school in the province” he admitted to El Mundo. And with hotels closed for half of the year, there is no tourism demand.
Plus, of course, if you’re flying to a golf destination, one assumes you already know how to play golf, and don’t need beginner classes.
So, instead of spending the 5 million on helping out the hotels and reopening part of the golf course, the brilliant idea is to open yet another “golf school” (no, I don’t know what it does either – something about showing innercity kids the game for free was mentioned?), 200m down the road from one that is already up and running (and about to go under as there is no demand for their services), in the hope that some rich tourists (or even “a” tourist) might be scammed into spending their holiday there.
Via El Mundo.