WOLVERINE, Michigan — In the 1960s, the Wildwood Lakes Golf Course in Wolverine was designed to be the heart of the Wildwood Valley Development.
According to Miedema’s Last Bid Real Estate, three artificial lakes were built and building lots were sold to establish a small community around the course. The course’s ownership changed twice in the 1990s, and three more holes were added to the layout.
The course is located about 30 minutes from the Mackinac Bridge, as well as Petoskey and Boyne Mountain, all popular tourist destinations in Michigan.
Now current owners Wendy and Randy Loffer and Scott and William Dempsey are ready to make another change: auctioning off the business.
“We decided it’s time to stop and smell the roses,” Wendy said.
The family ownership group, which includes husband and wife Wendy and Randy and Wendy’s brother and father, purchased the golf course in 1999. Wendy and Randy previously co-owned another course in Kentucky, but after becoming pregnant with their first child, they decided to move to be closer to the family.
“We realized that we really miss having a golf course,” Wendy said. “We bought it in ’99 and went back to the golf business.”
They’ve added a bar and restaurant to the nine-hole course and pride themselves on the family-friendly atmosphere.
“It’s a benefit to the community,” Wendy said. “It’s very close to Wildwood Lake, which is an all-season lake, so they do boat fishing and ice fishing. And having the golf course there with the bar and restaurant is really a benefit to the area. It draws people to the area – they don’t have to leave to go somewhere to eat or play golf. It’s like a big family there.”
The course’s website at wildwoodlakesgolf.com boasts that it offers “affordable golf in Northern Michigan in a family-friendly environment. While many Northern Michigan golf courses charge a small fortune for greens fees, we pride ourselves on keeping our prices low so you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a round of golf.”
“We have a lot of locals that play there just for the convenience, but we have a lot of tourists that come and people like to make this one of their annual stops,” Wendy said.
With the family ready to retire from the property, Wendy said she has made a lot of good memories in the field.
“Looking back and thinking about the years, 24 years is a long time to be here,” he said. “Our children grew up here. There was a note on the door the day (my daughter) was born, ‘The keys are in the carts, help yourself, we’re having a baby.’ They grew up on the golf course.”
Wendy said her children learned life lessons, like mowing the lawn, cooking, cleaning and talking to customers.
“It was a fabulous, fabulous way for them to grow up,” he said.
The family has contracted with LASTBIDrealestate.com and Leist Auctioneers to sell the business through a sealed bid auction. According to a statement, the offer includes the turnkey 54.65-acre golf course and all equipment, as well as the restaurant’s liquor license. Sealed bids must be submitted by October 12 at 5 pm
“Everything you need to open the door the day you buy it,” Wendy said. “You could be there and operate.”
While Wendy said it would be “great” if the property was kept as a golf course, she said she’s excited to see what ideas the new owner will bring to the property.
“Whatever the future brings, we’re excited,” he said. “It would be great, however someone develops it. It will be an asset, hopefully, to the community. If it’s a golf course, great. That would be great. Something else, maybe a campsite, maybe someone has another idea for the property. It is a lot of property and the possibilities are endless. We’re excited to see what someone does with it.”
To view auction information, visit bid.lastbidrealestate.com or http://www.gotoauction.com.
Contact reporter Jillian Fellows at [email protected]