The Findlay, Ill., resort, located in Eagle Creek State Park, has been closed since 2009, and a lack of maintenance has left the buildings in poor condition. BMDD Resorts leased the property’s golf course, The National at Eagle Creek, and reopened it earlier this year, but abandoned the project after disagreements with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
The Lodge at Eagle Creek Resort in Findlay, Ill., will spend another summer empty, as the company that was responsible for fixing the place up backed out in March, the Springfield (Ill.) NewsChannel 20 reported.
The 138-room resort has been closed since 2009. The first step for Eagle Creek Resort is to keep the golf course (now called The National at Eagle Creek) maintained, and find a new company to keep it open. Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials say they’re hoping to get that completed by this summer, but finding someone to take over the actual resort rooms will take some time, NewsChannel 20 reported.
Another delay is a disappointing prospect for business owners surrounding the resort, who remember when Eagle Creek was a popular tourist destination, NewsChannel 20 reported.
“We had great crowds, we had a lot of visitors, we had people who really enjoyed it and then it was doing good, and was good for the community,” Gene Wooters, owner of Wooters Sport Shop, said.
Unfortunately, it looks like the hotel and conference center won’t be open anytime soon. IDNR doesn’t have an exact cost estimate to get the buildings in working order, NewsChannel 20 reported.
“There is still a lot of work to do on the resort,” IDNR spokesperson Chris Young said.
The resort sits on Eagle Creek State Park, and a lack of maintenance has left the buildings in bad shape. IDNR took bids from companies to lease the land, with the understanding the lessee would pay for repairs to facilities. The Decatur-based BMDD Resorts did reopen the golf course, but after disagreements with IDNR on the future of the project, the company abandoned the property, NewsChannel 20 reported.
“We’re going to have to get together with local people in Shelbyville and work together with them to develop a business plan for the resort,” Young said. “Were going to get their input and see what they want in there. We’re going to find a good company to come in and operate it so it can really be successful.”
The decades-old property was showing wear and tear long before it was closed, Wooters said, and it’s going to take more than physical repairs to get be a successful business again, NewsChannel 20 reported.
“They need a good management group to come in and take over the thing and fix this thing up and get it to where it’s serviceable because it’s a beautiful area and people would love it,” Wooters said.
IDNR officials said there has been some interest in the golf course, and they could be releasing some good news on that front in the next few days, NewsChannel 20 reported.