Sled at your own risk in Carbondale
December 29, 2008
CARBONDALE ” The owners of the River Valley Ranch Golf Course in Carbondale want to make sure users of a popular wintertime sledding hill on the practice range know they are doing so at their own risk.
“The people who are over there having fun sledding are basically trespassing on golf course property, and they need to know they are on private property,” said Zach Ray, general manager and head golf pro at the RVR Golf Club.
So far, the club hasn’t called police to enforce the matter, he said. But people do need to know that they are using the area at their own risk, and that amenities such as bathrooms and parking at the nearby golf clubhouse are not available, he said.
While the practice range located across RVR Drive from the clubhouse is golf course property, the RVR Ranch House and adjacent parking lot to the south are owned by the RVR Master Homeowners Association.
Executive director Chip Munday said the association has generally turned a blind eye to the use of the Ranch House parking lot to access the sledding hill. But even they have had to take safety precautions to prevent someone from getting hurt, because some users sled down the south slope into the parking lot.
As a result, a temporary fence was erected by the association last week to prevent sledding down that side of the hill.
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“It is a community amenity, but it is really golf’s property, and only they can make any decisions about its use,” Munday said.
He said the association board struggled with the issue at a recent board meeting.
“There are a lot of people who live here whose kids use that hill. This will make it more difficult,” he said of the safety fence.
Ray said there have also been recent incidents of vandalism on golf course property, including a chain-link fence blocking access to the practice range from RVR Drive that was torn down, and a “no trespassing” sign that was removed. And if it continues, they may have to crack down.
“I’ve had people calling about booking outings [at the sledding hill] … we really don’t want any part of it,” he said. “We do not condone the use of the hill, but we’re not going to go over and say you can’t be on the hill.”