Sightseeing competitor has eye on bayfront mini-golf lease


Three days after the City of St Augustine Commission announced that they might not renew the lease with Ripley Entertainment for the Bayfront Mini-Golf, a family entertainment landmark at the City Marina since 1949; the current leaseholder’s primary competitor made their interests known.

Dave Chatterton, General Manager at Old Town Trolley Tours of St. Augustine, wrote a letter to City Manager John Regan on April 26 to say that his company “is very interested in working with the City of St Augustine to make the best use of this valuable property”.

Old Town Trolley Tours is a subsidiary of Key West based Historic Tours of America, Inc., and is one of the two hopefuls being considered by University of Florida Historic St Augustine, Inc. to win the lease on the Colonial Spanish Quarter Museum.

Chatterton wrote:
“We would appreciate an opportunity to be involved in the management of the property in its current application as a mini golf course with ticketing booth, but we would also be delighted to participate in the development of an alternate use for the property, whether as a multi-function green space with small welcome center, or for any other purpose the City may choose to develop.”

Ed Swift IV, Chief Operating Officer of Historic Tours of America, was included in the distribution of Chatterton’s request, however, a call to his office for comment on Friday afternoon has not yet been returned.

Fifteen e-mail responses received by the City Manager’s office, from citizens expressing opinions concerning the disposition of the miniature golf course, will be presented to commissioners during their regular meeting Monday night.

Historic City News is conducting an online reader poll through our facebook, to which we have already recorded over 100 responses. You can vote in the poll at

If you are planning to attend — the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting will begin at 5:00 p.m. Monday and will be held in the Alcazar Room; on the first floor of the west wing of City Hall, located at 75 King Street in St. Augustine. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Government TV (Cable Channel 3) and is streamed over the Internet.



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