Seventy-eight candles on the clock and the same love for a decade. Roland Letscher has known a thousand lives, from photographer to bailiff. At the time of his withdrawal, theTiger Woods of Nice” as his clients call it, he decides to restore Fabron’s abandoned “historic” miniature golf course.
“The first six years, it only allowed me to cover my costs.”, confesses the sexagenarian. Elga, his wife admits: “your golf is your baby, your whole life. He hasn’t missed a single opening day in nine years.” After three successive three-year concessions, the City decided to put the concession back up for bid. “I received a letter two months ago telling me that I had to return the keys and empty the golf course before May 5. I had just bought two new ovens at 5,000 euros each to be able to restart the restaurant service that had been stopped since Covid. If they had done that at the end of the year, I could understand, but this is the beginning of the season.”saddens the person in charge of the activity.
“No one wanted him back then”
This Wednesday afternoon, the 18 holes of the course are stormed by customers. Looping, castle, mill, all kinds of obstacles delight young and old. And the fear of seeing this emblematic place in the Fabron neighborhood disappear has taken hold of the regulars. “I came then with my son and now I come with my granddaughterglide Laurence, a loyal miniature golfer. It brings a plus to the park, it is an institution”.
A few meters further, near the slopes, a voice growls: “it’s a scandal! What are we going to have later, we no longer have a park, there is no snack”, annoys Fabienne, a client for two years. “No one wanted him back then. I never counted the efforts or the money I was able to invest to revive the last mini golf between Menton and Antibes.”laments Roland Letsher.
Soon octogenarian, impossible for him to leave his clients like this without one last concession. “You know, I’m 78 years old, if I was doing this for the money, I would have quit a long time ago. Being in golf in contact with my clients is my way of staying alive.”
Still very attached to his business, Roland somehow prepares for the closing. To thank his clients, reduced rates are planned until Sunday. He will have to clear everything up later.
Questions to Monique Bailet, deputy mayor of Nice.
It is not about eliminating activities in this park.
Why is miniature golf closing soon?
It is a public domain concession subject to a call for tender in each exploitation period, here we are reaching the end of the period. No improvement has been made in the operation, despite all the visits we have been able to make and the requests we have been able to express to the operator. It cannot be kept as it is. Before any reopening of the competition, work must be done.
Is it possible that at the end of the works there will still be a mini golf course?
For us, it is not about eliminating activities in this park. A call for tenders will be re-issued as soon as the repair work has been completed.
It is simply that the exploitation concession is coming to an end. In addition, the best offer that will then be chosen will not be made specifically on the basis of the rate, but in particular on hygiene and environmental criteria.
How long will the job take?
Once the site is released, it will be necessary to involve the competent services for a more detailed diagnosis of the building and to see a little the importance of the work to be carried out. But these are not small jobs. It will still take a few months.
The operator confirmed that they never noticed this problem…
He had known for a long time that his lease was coming to an end, after which I can understand why he did not go with pleasure. He would have had to think about it before to anticipate the competition and could have applied in the same way as the others, then it is the ad hoc committee that decides according to the candidate who offers the best offer.