Ludlow, VT Fox Run Properties LLC has acquired the 279-acre Okemo Valley Golf Club. Fox Run is a special purpose company established for the acquisition and operation of the former Okemo Valley club. The privately financed transaction is a harbinger of a recovery in the U.S. hospitality, travel, and golf industries, which have all been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new owner has renamed the property the Fox Run Golf Club.
The club, with views of Okemo Mountain, includes a nationally ranked par-70 course, clubhouse, indoor golf training center, and restaurant, as well as 120 open acres with future development potential. The Okemo Valley draws thousands of visitors annually, who come to enjoy year-round recreation enhanced by fine dining, picturesque villages, and breathtaking scenery.
The seller, Vail Resorts, purchased the club along with the adjacent Okemo Mountain ski resort in 2018.
The new ownership has embarked on extensive renovations of both the greens and the club facilities, which had begun before the acquisition transaction was completed. McAlpine Contracting served as general contractor and design-builder for all renovations.
The club’s new general manager Janine Corning said, “The renovation allows the property to offer vastly improved facilities to golfers, their families, and guests.”
“Fox Run Properties is excited to introduce a series of upgrades and developments to provide an enhanced golfing experience and to create custom living and hospitality options,” said Fox Run president and CEO Troy Caruso. “In Phase I, we have upgraded the golf course and its amenities. Two future development phases will include adding hospitality and luxury senior housing components, as well as other expansions of the golf club’s services and facilities.”
Designed by Steve Durkee, Fox Run is New England’s only heathland-style golf course. It is also the only course to offer views of the Okemo Ski Resort at Ludlow Mountain. The property has been ranked by both Golf Digest and Golfweek as one of the best public courses in Vermont and has hosted numerous Vermont PGA and New England PGA Senior Championship Tournaments. The 6,400-yard golf course features undulating, sculpted bent-grass greens, tees, and fairways framed by trees and decorative grasses, all set against the background of the Green Mountains. Nearly 20,000 rounds of golf are played on the course each year.
As part of the upgrades, Fox Run has added six new forward tees, and restored sand to 95 bunkers. New Salsco rolling equipment has been purchased to ensure faster greens and approaches.
To serve both families of players and the local community, Fox Run has constructed a new, 500-yard scenic dog walk with overviews of the course and a sitting area. The wooded dog walk, designed in a manner that doesn’t interfere with the golf course, is open to the public and has already proven to be very popular with guests and local community alike.
The club currently has 170 private members and is also open to the public. A four-hole novice-level course, with holes ranging from 60 to 100 yards, provides families and beginners with an enjoyable exposure to the game of golf.
New York-based general contractor McAlpine Contracting completed the renovation of the course facilities under a design-build contract. According to McAlpine vice president John Nolan, “The first phase of renovation work had a budget of $1 million and was completed on an accelerated schedule.”
The renovations have been extensive. “Upgrades included new flooring; lighting fixtures; finishes; audio visual systems; and heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems. A new stone feature wall accentuates the pro shop. The former conference room has been rebuilt as a new cigar room and there is a new, upscale catered event space designed for weddings, rehearsal dinners, corporate events, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special events for up to 50 people, in addition to larger events of up to 200 people to be hosted in the renovated main restaurant,” said Nolan.
The 9,200 s/f, two-story clubhouse houses a full-service pro shop and restaurant, a club room, locker rooms, and office space. The building is connected by a second-story air walkway to an adjacent 12,000 s/f indoor training facility.
The newly renovated 3,300 s/f pro shop with accompanying indoor driving nets, a putting green, and a simulator add to the already impressive golf facility. PGA golf professional Mark Senecal offers golf instruction on every level.
Senecal said, “Private instruction as well as group lessons and clinics are available by appointment. Fox Run fields a PGA Junior under 13 year old team and offers Junior Golf 4-Day Academies. Among other already ongoing programs, the Sunday Ladies and Junior Clinics are very popular and always well attended by beginner golfers.”
The 200-seat bar and restaurant, renamed Calcuttas, has been completely renovated by McAlpine Contracting and, unlike the previous restaurant, will operate all year round. “A 30-foot-long linear bar serves as a dramatic architectural feature. New finishes, lighting, and sound and video systems create an appealing casual dining venue,” said Adrian Vasile, McAlpine director of construction administration, who led the redesign process for the entire property.
The restaurant, which features modern American cuisine, is under the management of Mark Williams, the successful operator of two popular local restaurants – Sam’s Steakhouse and Mr. Darcy’s Bar and Grille – known for their fine food and casual dining ambiance. The restaurant is open to golfers as well as to the public and is available for catered events such as weddings.
According to Mark Montalvo, McAlpine director of construction, “Other additions to the property include new bocce courts; a horseshoe pit; a health and wellness center; and site work such as new irrigation and utility systems, and landscaping. Tennis and pickleball courts will be added in the next phase of upgrades.”
In the winter, the property houses the Okemo Valley Nordic Center, with a total of 14 miles of Nordic track trails and eight miles of dedicated snowshoeing trails. To accommodate recreational snowmobile users, Fox Run offers direct access to the vast regional snowmobile trail system, as well as indoor snowmobile parking and gas refilling.
According to Caruso, “Fox Run has plans for two subsequent phases of expansions to develop the 120 unimproved acres on the property. An upscale senior living complex, with a preliminary budget of $25 million, will be constructed in Phase II, while Phase III will include the construction of a $15 million hotel.”