ST AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- St. Augustine is considering leveling one of its landmarks. The Bayfront Mini Golf Course sitting to the right of the Bridge of Lions needs serious upgrades. Right now, it isn't ADA compliant.
But that's prompted discussion of whether it should be left standing at all.
The St. Augustine City Commissioners met Monday to discuss possible new options for the decades old mini golf course along the bay.
Ripley's runs it now and is fighting to keep it. But some say the space could be more profitable as something else.
For years, Marilyn Matsell has watched families laugh and bond on a small plot of land with a big history. She's a ticket seller at the course.
Ripley's Bayfront Mini Golf was created in 1947. They say it's the oldest in the state.
"It's really great because you see four generations the great grandparents down to the great grandchildren and they just love it," Matsell said.
But the fate of the course hangs in the balance. Ripley's is leasing the land from the city, but they tell Action News the putt-putt course needs serious work. It isn't accessible to handicapped people. Changes were supposed to be made to correct that by March. And Ripley's was ready with a $60,000 plan drawn up. Then, the city had second thoughts.
"I think its just generally we are moving in the direction of repurposing the property to a higher and better use," explained Vice Mayor Nancy Sikes-Kline.
Right now, Ripley's is operating it on a month-to-month basis until the St. Augustine City Commission makes a decision whether to keep it, or make it something else.
"If you put the vacant spot that's there now and add the space where the putt-putt is you'd come up with about a half an acre of open space which is obviously the most beautiful area of our city," Sikes-Kline said.
But Matsell argues what could be better than this?
"It's just a neat family thing and this generation where you're having the breakdown of the family, this is where it's happening. And to see it go away is very very sad."
Ripley's tells Action New right now this course is still not ADA compliant. But they're told they're OK as long as they can prove they've taken the steps to get it there, which they say they have. The city will now weigh their options.
There is a commission meeting Monday night -- but this topic was not on the agenda.
Action News asked Vice Mayor Sikes-Kline what that plot of land is worth. She says it is priceless -- and called it the premier spot in St. Augustine.