Council chips its way out of grill bunker

Thousands of golfers gearing up for the 2011 links season on Grand Junction’s two municipal golf courses will soon have the opportunity to buy food and beverages provided by a new private vendor.

The Grand Junction City Council Monday approved an agreement with Two Miles LLP to assume food services at Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park golf courses beginning this spring.

Congratulations to Two Miles, headed by Miles Blackford, currently chef at the Dream Cafe downtown. The fledgling company was recommended for the golf course contract by a committee made up of golfers, city employees and a representative of the Grand Junction Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

And congratulations, as well, to the City Council for recognizing that a contract which had long been serviced by a private vendor should remain in private hands and not be turned over to the city-owned entity that operates Two Rivers Convention Center.

The whole ruckus — dubbed “grillgate” by some locals — began when the Two Rivers group was allowed to bid on the food service contract for the two municipal golf courses. Two Rivers received the top recommendation of an earlier committee made up primarily of city employees and members of city boards.

That set off a firestorm of criticism from supporters of the people previously operating the Piñon Grill at Tiara Rado and the snack bar at Lincoln Park. They accused the city of trying to push a private company out of business in favor of a city entity. There were also questions raised about the process used to evaluate the two private businesses and one public entity involved in the initial bidding process.

City Manager Laurie Kadrich later acknowledged it was a mistake to allow Two Rivers to bid on the contract without first asking the City Council whether a city entity should be involved.

The council decided it shouldn’t, and authorized a second committee and bid process.

With the council’s action this week, we hope the great grill controversy has ended. We expect Two Miles to provide excellent food and service to patrons of Tiara Rado and Lincoln Park, allowing local golfers to concentrate on avoiding sand traps.


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