Evanston officials are seeking proposals to build a miniature golf course  near the Chandler-Newberger Recreation Center on Central Street.

Coming to Evanston? A miniature golf course in Atlantic City, N.J. (Photo courtesy of the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Bureau)

Evanston officials are seeking proposals to build a miniature golf course near the Chandler-Newberger Recreation Center on Central Street.

Nine firms have already requested copies of the request for proposals from the online procurement site DemandStar.

The city has scheduled a pre-proposal conference for prospective bidders on the project for Feb. 29 and proposals are due by May 15.

City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz says the mini-golf course, if it ultimately is approved, would be built in part on land the city owns, and in part on land leased by the city from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

It would adjoin the full-size, 18-hole golf course operated by the Evanston-Wilmette Golf Association on MWRD land subleased from Evanston and the Village of Wilmette.

The golf association has been under financial pressure because declining golf revenue has left it unable to pay its water bills to the two municipalities.

The RFP envisions a public-private partnership under which the developer would design, build, operate and finance the miniature golf course.

The nearest existing miniature golf course to Evanston is located on MWRD land on Oakton Street in Skokie. It’s operated by the Skokie Park District.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. Outdoor recreation is great, but…

    What do we do when it's below 30 degrees, or raining, or hailing, or snowing (meaning, about 60% of the time in Evanston?)  For being in the northern part of the US, we have a real shortage of recreation opportunities for bad weather.

    I'd love to see an INDOOR miniature golf course – currently, the closest indoor mini-golf courses are in Norridge and Gurnee.  Could the City maybe consider that its residents would get better use out of that?  Or that, with no nearby competition, we might actually MAKE money with a non-resident rate?

    1. I’d rather have…

      All due respect for your wishes, Michelle, but forget that! I'd rather have an indoor pool that takes Evanston beach passes. The Skokie golf course on Oakton is a fine option and is very bikeable due to the McCormick trail.

      I am aware that the YMCA has a pool, however, I find the price of full membership not worth the admission to just the pool which is all I would use.

      I really can't see this thing paying for itself given that relatively near-by alternatives already exist. At minimum, your point about needing more indoor activities is well said.

      1. We do, actually, have a taxpayer-funded indoor pool…

        but its use is restricted to kids between the ages of 14-18 years of age: it's at ETHS.  There are many, many other recreational facilities that our taxes pay for in the name of education that aren't readily available for use by the general public.

        I do understand that, to be competitive in the college marketplace, students need access to advanced sports – but since we are all paying for these facilities and their staff, I think we should work to find a way to share them with the rest of Evanston.  If our senior center can do it, I'm confident the high school (and I suppose the elementary and middle schools) can find a way to do it as well.

        For the record, the ETHS pool does offer excellent swim lessons and water sports programs to Evanston youth at a relatively low cost (they are in need of support for their scholarship program) and indoor tennis lessons, but these strike me as being a fairly minimal partnership, typically offered to elementary and middle school-age children.  Adults and preschoolers need exercise and access to recreation, too.

  2. Gotta agree–wasted effort!

    Has this ever been flagged as a NEED, or even thrown around as something residents have ASKED for?  I don't think so!

  3. Skokie minigolf

    Sorry but the Skokie course really sucks.  If they build something akin to that here, it would not be an asset in the least.  Wish they could use existing and empty retail establishments to build an inside course.  The old barnes and noble second floor maybe?

  4. Example

    A perfect example of how mis directed our City Council and leadership are.

    This is really embarrassing.

    1. No cost to taxpayers ?

      You missed the point.  The Council must have decided we need these so much that they will pay for them out of their own personal pockets.   With no cost for construction or up-keep.

      So nice of them.

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