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Black Butte Ranch Begins $3.75 Million Golf Course Renovation

(BLACK BUTTE RANCH, OR) -- Black Butte Ranch has begun work on the homeowner approved $3.75 million renovation project for the community's Glaze Meadow Golf Course, according to officials of the 1,251-home vacation and golf destination in central Oregon.

Scott Huntsman, president and chief executive officer of Black Butte Ranch, said property owners "overwhelmingly approved plans for the renovation project," which will culminate with the opening of the new course in May of 2012.

John Fought, president of John Fought Design, was selected to lead the design efforts for the project.

"Our homeowners and management team are excited about the renovation of the Glaze Meadow Course," Huntsman said.  "With the stable financial picture of the Ranch, we now feel it is the perfect time to update the 35-year-old course to restore shots values, improve its playability, and lengthen it to make it more challenging given today's new golf technology.   The new design will also enhance the owner and guest experience at the Ranch, and provide us with two high-quality championship golf courses."

Plans call for a comprehensive renovation of the Glaze Meadow Course, including a new irrigation system, the re-construction and repositioning of all tee boxes, reshaping of and the addition of fairway and greenside bunkers, resurfacing and rerouting of cart paths, and the thinning of some trees that have started to encroach on play over the past few years.

The project also will include the re-design and re-construction of all new green complexes, and the conversion of the existing 514-yard, par-5 first hole into a 395-yard, par 4, and the lengthening of the 401-yard, par-4 second hole into a 553-yard par 5.  In addition, Fought and his architectural team will also make several major improvements to Glaze Meadow's practice facility, including the rebuilding of the existing practice tee, the addition of several new target greens, the construction of a new back tee for private lessons, and the creation of a new nursery.

Currently measuring 6,574 yards from the championship tees, the renovated Glaze Meadow Course will be lengthened to approximately 7,000 yards and play to a par-72, providing a stern test for players of all levels.  Set amongst towering Ponderosa pines and offering stunning views of the snow-capped Cascade Peaks, Glaze Meadow's new design will feature five teeing areas, including a set of junior tees measuring 5,014 yards.

Fought - the 1977 U.S. Amateur Champion and a two-time winner on the PGA Tour - has designed or re-designed more than 50 projects during his 20 years in the golf architecture business.  He gained national recognition for his restoration of Pine Needles Golf Club, a Donald Ross design, in Southern Pines, N.C.  The renovation project was singled out by Golf Digest as the United States' "Best New Remodel" for 2005.  Fought's design work also includes The Gallery South Course in Tucson, Ariz., The Player's Course at Indian Wells Golf Club in Palm Desert, Calif., and Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in North Plains, Ore.,  - all of which have hosted PGA or LPGA tour events.

Fought, who will work with his company's senior designer Mike Gogel on the project, said he is "excited about embarking on the re-design of Glaze Meadow.  The course's original design offers us a tremendous opportunity to bring to the northwest a true Donald Ross/Dr. Alister MacKenzie-type golf experience -- similar in many ways to our work at Pine Needles.  The renovation of Glaze Meadow will require a minimum of earthmoving, and involve a 'refinement' of the course's original layout, taking advantage of its scenic views and playing corridors through the majestic ponderosa pines and aspens."

Black Butte Ranch's 7002-yard Big Meadow Course will remain open during the re-construction of the Glaze Meadow project, Huntsman said.

Black Butte Ranch is a family golf destination in Central Oregon eight miles west of Sisters, Oregon.  The Ranch offers 36 holes of golf, vacation rentals, dining and numerous recreation activities including spa, golf, tennis, biking, swimming, fishing, horse rides, running, skiing and snowshoeing and other recreational pursuits.

Island Resort & Casino Breaks Ground on New Conference Center

(HARRIS, MI) -- The Island Resort & Casino in Michigan's Upper Peninsula has broken ground on a new $2 million conference center to attract more corporate golf outings and meetings.

The resort, which owns and operates award-winning Sweetgrass Golf Club,  started the 8,000 square-foot expansion project this fall. Located adjacent to the Sweetgrass pro shop, it will nearly double private function space to 17,400 square feet throughout the property.

"Since opening Sweetgrass in 2008, we've seen an increased demand for private parties and golf outings," said Island Resort & Casino General Manager Tom McChesney. "Recent national rankings of our golf course have drawn groups who also need space for pairing parties, board retreats, and non-profit banquets."

Scheduled to be completed in April 2011, the conference center addition will increase total seating capacity by 828. It can be accessed via a new private outdoor entrance and is within easy indoor walking distance from the casino's main floor, showroom, in-house restaurants and 275 hotel rooms.

The expansion is the latest of many capital improvements on the Island Resort & Casino campus. Other renovations included the golf course, 1,700-seat Showroom, Palm Tower hotel wing with 162 additional guest rooms and luxury Presidential Suite.

Owned and operated by the Hannahville Indian Community, a band of the Potawatomi Nation, Sweetgrass Golf Club and the Island Resort & Casino are located in the unspoiled beauty of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

The Sweetgrass Golf Club was designed by Michigan-native Paul Albanese. It was named a Top 20 Courses You Can Play in Michigan by GOLF Magazine in 2010, and Best New Course by Golfweek magazine in 2009.

Boasting more than 1,400 slot machines and 24/7 Vegas-style gaming, the Island Resort & Casino also the Firekeeper's Restaurant, Beachcomber Restaurant & Bar, Coral Reef Grille and Bingo Snack Bar. Live music in the lounge, the Club Four One nightclub, a swimming pool and conference center are other popular resort offerings. The property is easily accessible via a pair of regional airports in Escanaba and Marquette.

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