Like many people, I was shocked to hear that El Paso International Airport decided to permanently close Butterfield Trail Golf Club. According to the press release from the City of El Paso, the move will save the airport $1 million per year. Since 2008, the airport has subsidized the course through revenues generated through non-aviation development.

Val D’Souza, Vice President of Operations, KemperSports and former general manager of Butterfield Trail Golf Club released this official statement to 600 ESPN El Paso on the decision to close the course.
"Personally, and on behalf of our KemperSports team, I am saddened by the closure of Butterfield Trail Golf Club. We have enjoyed a great partnership with the El Paso International Airport and the City of El Paso for more than 13 years to support the city’s vision for the course and the development plans for the area around the course. We are very proud of our work together, which led to high praise in the industry and awards for both the course design and commitment to customer service. We know that it was a very difficult decision for the city and understand the financial constraints that it is under at this time. We will reflect fondly on the memories we have of working with the El Paso golf community and the staff who made it such a wonderful place to play since 2007."

When Butterfield Trail Golf Club first opened, the plan was to build a hotel and resort near the course. Although some major hotel companies showed interest, the resort never came to fruition. In fact, El Paso still has never built a resort to attract travelers as well as locals.

600 ESPN El Paso has been affiliated with the Tom Fazio designed golf course since it opened in 2007. I have broadcast three live radio shows each year at Butterfield Trail Golf Club. Along the way, I have had the privilege of getting to know all the staff that helped operate the award winning public course. I will miss general manager Tim Krebs and his terrific team from Kemper Sports that always made us feel so comfortable, whether we were broadcasting SportsTalk, taking lessons, or playing 18 holes of golf.

I also feel bad for so many El Pasoans that have played Butterfield Trail over the years. Whether they were regulars, occasional golfers, or out-of-towners, they always had great things to say about the course. El Paso does not have nearly the number of golf courses that most comparable cities offer. In the last 10 years, we have seen Santa Teresa Country Club, Vista Hills Country Club, and Dos Lagos go under. Now, one of the top municipal courses in the country is also going away. What a shame.