Village Creek State Park Golf Course Will Close Temporarily For One-Year Beginning June 7 to Undergo Upgrades

For Immediate Release

Wynne -- The 27-hole golf course at Village Creek State Park (VCSP) will close temporarily beginning June 7 to allow for a year-long upgrade and grow-in, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts. This decision was made by the State Parks, Recreation and Travel Commission (SPRTC) at its May meeting in Star City following a review of current golf course conditions and the need to undertake renovations during this year’s growing season.

Cross County Bank (CCB) had been operating the course since September 1, 2009, following the loan default filed August 12, 2009, against Village Creek Resort LLC (VCR). The foreclosure process was completed in February 2010 by CCB.

Through the loan foreclosure process, CCB acquired the leasehold interest in the resort planned by VCR, along with one acre of land, the golf course maintenance building, infrastructure, etc. Arkansas State Parks (ASP) will purchase CCB’s foreclosure acquisitions next month and assume management of the entire operation June 7.

In January 2006 VCR entered into a private/public partnership with ASP through a lease, development services and management agreement, for the design, development and operation of a first-class golf resort at VCSP. ASP funded the construction of the golf course through a $7 million loan from the Arkansas Development Finance Authority. The venture was to be the largest public/private partnership in the history of the state park system. VCR’s financial contribution for the buildings, infrastructure and equipment was projected to be $8 million through loans from Cross County Bank, other banks and grants.

Greg Butts said, “The golf course was designed by Andy Dye Designs of Sarasota, Florida. Since 1923, the tradition of the Dye family designs of resort and public courses has included its design of world-ranked championship-class courses including 17 of the world’s top 100 courses. Dye designs have a worldwide reputation for their creative, unique designs and environmentally sensitive integrity.” Butts emphasized, “The goal is to make this one of the finest golf courses in Arkansas and qualify it for inclusion in the prestigious group of Arkansas’s premier courses collectively known as the Natural State Golf Trail. This will require the construction of a clubhouse, restrooms on the golf course, and greens and fairway enhancements.” He noted that these capital improvements are currently unfunded. “Once funding is acquired, we will continue forward.”

Butts continued, “It is necessary to close the course at this time because, as a new course, it needs to heal and mature. Typically, it takes three years to grow a new course as turf conditions, erosion and other factors are addressed.”

He said, “We know the public will understand that this temporary closure-—this temporary inconvenience—-will result in permanent improvements at what is a strikingly beautiful and challenging golf course featuring the rolling terrain of Crowley’s Ridge and the backdrop of the surrounding mixed hardwood forest.

The 27-hole course covers approximately 470 acres within the environs of Village Creek State Park. At 6,906 acres including lands in both Cross and St. Francis counties, Village Creek is Arkansas’s second largest state park in acreage. Authorized in 1967, it is one of the 52 Arkansas state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. For more information, contact: Greg Butts, director, Arkansas State Parks, 1 Capitol Mall, Little Rock, AR 72201. Phone: 501-682-7743. Email: greg.butts@arkansas.gov.

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