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Lake Lawn Resort Appears to be Under Contract with Plans to Reopen Soon
Saturday, 16 April 2011 14:16

Based on our web traffic, there has been a lot of interest in the fate of Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, Wisconsin, the 128-year-old resort icon.


David Curry, a real estate agent that sells for Geneva Lakefront Realty in Williams Bay, Wisconsin appears to have the inside scope on the status of Lake Lawn Lodge that was closed and taken back by Anchor Bank last fall.


According to the Geneva Lakefront Realty post:

The new buyers, a group led by local developer and business man Jim Drescher, are scheduled to close on this property sometime in the next couple weeks (late April). The golf course will immediately reopen, after some catch-up maintenance, and the marina will open on schedule as well. The price of $9.5MM being paid includes $8.6MM in cash and $900k in assumed debt, but it's fair to say that this property- a property on shaky financial footing for the better part of a decade- is now in strong hands and the purchase price will allow the new group to make something that I'm guessing Lake Lawn hasn't seen in years: a profit.

According to the Milwaukee Journal :

Anchor took control of the resort, which overlooks Delavan Lake, at an October foreclosure sale, and closed it in December. Anchor held a $34.4 million judgment against Lake Lawn's previous owners, an investors group known as Delavan Resort Holdings LLC.

The resort's buyers are led by area developer Jim Drescher. Salitros said Drescher's group plans to complete the purchase by April 15.

Salitros said the city might provide cash to Drescher's group to help pay for deferred maintenance projects at Lake Lawn, including new water pipes that would be connected to the city's water supply.

According to the paper:

Drescher said he hopes to close on the deal in mid-April and open the resort at the end of April. The pieces of the property such as the golf course, the boat slips and the resort itself could open at different times.

Drescher said he expects to have access to the property before closing to start spring maintenance on the golf course. That work probably will start the first week in April.

Drescher, a Geneva National resident and a former president of that golf club, has not said whether he would be involved in managing the resort once it is reopened. This weekend, Drescher is expected to meet informally with a group of former Lake Lawn department managers to learn how things worked.

According to the Milwaukee Business Journal :

The meeting will not include former General Manager Pete Zellmer, Drescher said.

Drescher, who is known for his charity work in Walworth County, said he wanted to reopen the resort for the 126 full-time and 160 part-time and seasonal employees who lost their jobs when it closed. Though the banks initially resisted his offer, they did what was best for the community in the end, he said.

“Everybody in the end... put their differences aside to come to a conclusion so the city of Delavan can move forward and we can get the jobs back,” he said.

So, if Mr. Drescher closes on the property, the golf course could be up and running this Spring.

See our previous Hacker's Central posts:

Lake Lawn Closes After 132 Years

History of Lake Lawn Rosort