Reader wants park operated by private company

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I wonder if anyone has ever thought of privatizing Miller Park. I say this from strictly an economic angle.

The park costs the city money, about $250,000 per year, unless the budget is amended to cover said costs. By cutting the budget by $250,000, economic stimulus would soon follow.

From a business standpoint, I don't know of anyone currently holding a city government office who has privately owned a park. I reserve the right to be wrong, though. If no one has ever operated a park, one could suggest that private owners might have better knowledge how to do the job more efficiently, which would only enhance and benefit the residents.

Privatized parks are usually funded by businesses around the area, real estate owners, concessions/events/donations and sponsorships for upkeep, updates and maintenance purposes.

Generally speaking, private operators are more efficient and creative than government concerning park operations and revenue. This is primarily because private companies focus their entire business model on park operations, therefore possess proven processes for park management.

You won't have to worry about raising entrance fees either on the public. First, operators cannot raise fees without their government landlord's approval. Second, public recreation is generally attractive to visitors because it is low-cost and offers real value. Raising prices would be detrimental.

Four years ago, 2009 was a very big year for public recreation precisely because, in a recession, low-cost public recreation options gave many families on a budget a chance to have a quality recreation experience.

If this has never been brought forth for discussion, perhaps it is a conversation worth having, if for nothing else, to explore different ideas to help our economy.

Ben Ellard