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With equity in place, Little Crow Country Club hotel project revs back up

Shelby Lindrud / Tribune Dean Lindquist looks over the most recent plans for the Little Crow Country Club hotel and event center project in rural New London. Thirty percent equity has been raised, allowing the project to move to the next steps, including selling land to Glacial Ridge Hospitality.1 / 6
Shelby Lindrud / Tribune The event center and restaurant will enjoy picturesque views of the Little Crow golf course.2 / 6
Shelby Lindrud / Tribune Dean Lindquist looks out over Little Crow Golf Course in New London. The new restaurant and event center will have this view, a perfect vista for a night out or special events, like weddings.3 / 6
Submitted / Tribune Concept drawing of the proposed hotel and event center at Little Crow Country Club in rural New London.4 / 6
Shelby Lindrud / Tribune The Little Crow Country Club could soon under go major changes, with the construction of a hotel, event center, restaurant and pro shop.5 / 6
Shelby Lindrud / Tribune The current pro shop and restaurant at the Little Crow Country Club will be torn down and a new one built, along with a hotel and restaurant.6 / 6

SPICER — While it took longer than had hoped, Glacial Ridge Hospitality has successfully raised $2.34 million in equity for the GrandStay hotel project at the Little Crow Country Club, located between Spicer and New London.

"I think it's marvelous. It shows a commitment in this area that this is important," Dean Lindquist said, chair of the Little Crow Country Club Redevelopment Committee.

Dozens of local investors have chipped into the project that will bring a 51-room GrandStay hotel along with a 300-seat event center, a 75-seat restaurant and a brand new clubhouse to the golf course.

The membership of Little Crow Country Club voted in September 2015 to continue working on the hotel plan. Just over two years later the club board voted unanimously to approve the project.

"We've been trying to do our due diligence. It's been a cool thing to do," Lindquist said.

The total project is estimated to cost around $7.8 million. As part of the funding package for the project, both Kandiyohi County and New London-Spicer Public Schools approved a 10-year tax abatement, worth nearly $1 million.

There had been hope to have project completed by this spring, but weather and a drag in raising the equity slowed the process down, Lindquist said.

"You don't do that overnight. They had high hopes. It just doesn't happen that fast," Lindquist said.

However, Lindquist believes the extra time was a good thing for the project, because it offered an opportunity to look deeper into it all and design the best project for Little Crow.

"It caused a nice pause. It was a godsend," Lindquist said.

With the finances all figured out, project partners can now turn to completing the many permits and other legal documents tied to the project. One is the purchase agreement between Little Crow Country Club and Glacial Ridge Hospitality for two parcels of land for the hotel and event center. In exchange for the land Glacial Ridge Hospitality will build the new restaurant and pro-shop for the club.

Glacial Ridge will own the hotel and event center, which will be managed by Blue Sky Hospitality, while the country club retains ownership of the restaurant and pro-shop. Lindquist also said ownership of the 27-hole golf course is not changing and will remain under the leadership of the country club.

Apollo Development is the project's general contractor and will be responsible for hiring subcontractors and overseeing construction.

"It is really a team of all these different entities," Lindquist said.

Construction could begin as soon as the second week of September, with the hope it will all be open for business next spring, in time for the Governor's Fishing Opener on Green Lake.

"We're optimistic for spring," Lindquist said.

Bringing a hotel, event center along with new restaurant and pro-shop facilities, will open the country club up to new and expanded business all year long. Lindquist said there have already been calls about weddings being held at the new event center.

"I think it is so exciting, not just for the golf course, but the entire area," Lindquist said.

Several years ago there was a variety of resorts along Green Lake, but today they have all shut down. This resulted in a great need for hotels and the like to provide lodging for visitors.

"How are you going to entice people to come, if they have no place to stay?" Lindquist asked.

The Grandstay hotel at Little Crow will join the recently opened Hampton Inn in Spicer in answering that need for lodging, and Lindquist feels there is plenty of business for both.

"We have a common interest. I don't think it is a conflict at all. We're working for the benefit of the entire community," Lindquist said.