HORSESHOE BEND, AR (KAIT) - Since nearly before Horseshoe Bend was a town, the Hillhigh Golf Course attracted golfers and those wanting to get away to the area around the town. Like many golf courses it fell on hard times and nearly closed.
Earlier this year, the course was auctioned off and the new owners changed its name to Cedar Glade Golf Resort and Spa. The new owners have big plans for the course and grounds.
The original facility was built in the '60s.
General Manager Joe Beavers said the town wasn't even a town when the hotel was built. "The Pratt brothers who started Horseshoe Bend built the place. The golf course came along in 91 or 92."
It was an innovative facility with a covered pool, full spa, tennis courts, bar and restaurant. Beavers said it was a popular place for locals and visitors to the area.
But over time lack of money and upkeep has taken it's toll. Although it has never completely closed down. The spa closed and only a limited number of rooms were useable.
Also tourism to the area took a drop.
Beavers, "With the economy and the way things are going it's taken a hit, like you said, it's not on the beaten path."
About three months ago the resort went under the auction hammer.
The Decor corporation acquired the property from the buyers who bought the property for the price of a large house.
Beavers says the Decor corporation has ties across the town. "That's actually a subsidiary of Crown Point Resort here in Horseshoe Bend."
The new owners want to tie the two locations together and are in the process of getting the hotel and spa back up to speed.
First thing they did was change the name.
Beavers, "We just want to have a fresh start."
The rooms are nice with Jacuzzi tubs in the suites.
Beavers, "We are at about 50 percent with the rooms with 40 rooms available."
The spa area is in relatively good condition. Marbled floors and rocks in the steam room look like they were just shut down yesterday. I particularly liked the oval four-foot deep spa tub. Right now this spa tub is empty but they say they expect to have it open, and other parts of the spa in December.
Beavers said the covered pool is probably not going to be re-done. Suffering from structural problems in the building and the pool itself means they will in the future have to put in a new pool.
The bar and restaurant area need a bit of updating and the company is looking for someone to lease out the restaurant. The kitchen is complete and ready to go right down to the trays of silverware and dishes to be set out.
And of course there is the 18 hole executive golf course. Which unfortunately will be closing the first of December. It gets cold in the hills. It is a beautiful course tucked into the hills.
Beavers says they will be remodeling the main lobby for entertainment venues including the 2012 "Ozarks Got Singers" contest. Beavers said next years event should bring in many contestants and supporters to the facility.
Beavers says, new owners, a new attitude and a new look are working in their favor.
Beavers, "We're trying to give folks a reason to come to Horseshoe Bend."
For information and reservations you can call 870-670-5141.