by Brandon Mayer
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
South Mountain will be losing a popular golf course at the end of this month. Nationview Golf Course has served several North Dundas and North Grenville towns, including Kemptville, and has been in operation for 25 years.
The 18-hole golf course boasted three sets of tees to accommodate players of different skill levels. The course was open to the public, with blue grass fairways and bent grass greens. It also featured a driving range, and had rental clubs and golf carts available.
The circumstances surrounding the closure are unclear. The Times received inquiries from residents asking for details on the closure, but there was little information to be found. Despite an official closure date of November 1, an answering machine at the course phone number stated that the course was closed for the day on October 21, though this may have been due to the weather. A voice message left on the machine had not been returned at the time of writing. Messages sent by email and through Nationview’s Facebook page were similarly ignored.
While there is no evidence to suggest that the closure of Nationview Golf Course is for financial reasons, businesses have been consistently hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. As recently as the spring of 2021, golf courses across Ontario were forced to close, regardless of pandemic safety protocols put in place. The closure was not tied to specific regions, but rather targeted all of Ontario. The resulting loss in revenue from such closures can often tip the scales for already-struggling businesses, and golf courses can feel the financial stresses even more because they only operate seasonally.
Of all businesses that have struggled amidst pandemic lockdowns and capacity limitations, struggling restaurants have perhaps received the most publicity. One article from an American news source suggests that as many as 15% of eating and drinking establishments have permanently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other sources suggest that some changes to the restaurant industry – such as hand sanitizer stations, more frequent sanitizing, and increased popularity of takeout and delivery – will be here to stay.
For restaurants and some other non-essential businesses in Ontario, and many other parts of the world as well, vaccine passports are the most recent pandemic policy, and one that has fueled heated debate and much division between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
Whether there will be further impacts from the pandemic on businesses remains to be seen. It was announced on October 22 that Ontario tentatively plans to lift all pandemic restrictions by March of 2022, giving at least some hope for struggling businesses.