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Nov 23, 2016
New Trimmings at Treetops


(GAYLORD, MN) It’s winter sports season now, but by the time golf season rolls around next spring, Treetops Resort should be finished with a $4.5 million renovation of its buildings and rooms. That’s great news for golfers. There are 81 holes to play at Treetops, from Robert Trent Jones Sr.’s last course in Michigan—called Masterpiece, and featuring a 120-foot drop into the Pigeon River Valley—to the state’s only Tom Fazio design, as well as a walking course that pays homage to the game’s origins  and one of the top-ranked par-three tracks in the country. UpLiveNorth.com  reports that the resort has secured a $4.5 million loan to remodel the outside of two of its lodging buildings as well as almost 200 rooms inside. They plan on having the outside of the buildings finished by Christmas, while their target for the room interiors is May 1. If you’re headed there for ski season, you will still be able to stay in the rooms while they work on one section at a time.

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Nov 21, 2016
All Hands on Deck


(SAVANNAH, GA) Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc along the East Coast last month, hitting hard in areas that have generally avoided the path of hurricanes over the last century. The Landings Club on Skidaway Island suffered serious wind damage, losing thousands of trees on their six golf courses, according to Club & Resort Business. But the community bounced back in a big way. “While I wouldn’t wish this kind of hardship on anyone, I could honestly say that I’ve never been a part of a group as selfless, caring and close-knit as we have here at The Landings Club,” says Steven Freund, Executive Director. “The worst in the storm brought out the best in our staff and members, and I feel confident that any of our 450+ employees or 3,000+ members would agree.” Employees from every department went to work to clear debris and trees from the club’s grounds and 91 miles of roadways after the October 7 storm, allowing most club amenities to reopen by October 17. Club members also donated a total of $90,000 to the Employee Needs Fund, which helps employees experiencing unexpected financial hardship.

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Nov 18, 2016
Stay Tuned


(WASHINGTON, DC) He’s still assembling his team, but already the pundits and prophets are predicting how things might play out under a Trump presidency. As Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, writes in Forbes, “Though Mr. Trump is a real estate man, his policy platform has been largely vague on real estate proposals.” Yun has a few thoughts on what we might have in store. Changes to Dodd-Frank financial regulation could lift the regulatory burden on small banks, allowing them to make more construction and land development loans, says Yun. Likewise, there could be less regulatory land-use and zoning burden for home construction, thereby lowering the cost of building. A Trump administration might also move away from stringent mortgage underwriting to more normal lending practices, eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, simplify the tax code, and reduce government’s share of flood relief for homeowners. At this point, it’s all conjecture. Best to stay tuned.

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Nov 16, 2016
Major Renovation


(NAPLES, FL) Golf architect, J. Drew Rogers, has just completed a major renovation of Quail West's Preserve Course, the oldest of their two golf courses, with newly constructed greens, tees, and bunkering, a state-of-the-art irrigation system, and a complete turf conversion from #419 Bermuda to Celebration Hybrid Bermuda. The course will reopen early next year, when Rogers will undertake a similar overhaul of the club's other Arthur Hills design, The Lakes Course. The renovation is a case study in how courses built during the development boom (1990-2005) are now being renovated and otherwise fine-tuned to address issues both demographic and agronomic. Decades of sand and thatch accumulation raised putting surfaces up to 13 inches higher than they were originally, creating severe putting surfaces. He also reduced the number of bunkers and added a second set of forward tees. The changes serve an aging golf demographic well, but Rogers also renovated and expanded the practice facility at Quail West to engage existing members while attracting new ones.

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Nov 14, 2016
Hold the Stairs


(BALTIMORE, MD) According to the National Association of Home Builders, 55-plus households will make up almost 45% of all households in the country by 2024. That makes them a demographic to be reckoned with in the housing market. One potential target for aging boomers may be age-restricted residential communities, according to a report in The Baltimore Sun. Municipalities like these communities because they won’t tax local school systems. For boomers, the draw is obvious: less maintenance, plenty of quiet, and amenities tailored especially for them. At Stoneleigh Summit, in the Baltimore area, the 55-plus crowd also gets something that’s high on their list of wants: homes designed so they can live on just the first floor, without climbing stairs.

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