Private/Public Partnership Teeing Off On New Course

CROSS COUNTY, AR--It's being called the largest public and private partnership in the history of the state parks system and it is going to happen right here in Region 8.

The Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism and Village Creek Resort have agreed on a project that will bring a 27 hole golf course complete with 35 suites and much more.

The Natural State Golf Trail is known for its fine courses, but the newest addition, Village Creek Resort will be about more than fairways and greens.

"17 villas, we'll have a convention center, bar, pro shop, spa, all of the things that go into a first class resort," said Cross County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leroy Dangeau.

Dangeau has put in over a decade of work to make this project a reality and he feels it will benefit more than just golfers.

"It will bring around 100 new jobs, so that is a major consideration," said Dangeau.

Right now, the course is a work in progress. Even though there is still a lot of work to be done, they hope to be ready to go by spring of 2008, on what should be a truly unique course.

"It will be a tough course, but one that any level can enjoy playing, even the pros," said Dangeau.

Between the public and private partnership, the course and resort will be an 18 to 20 million dollar capital investment. He feels the project will look to attract business retreats and seminars. In addition to the money visitors will spend, he hopes it will have a trickle down effect on the local economy.

"Hopefully when they see what we have they will be influenced to move a business here or locate a factory or just to move here," said Dangeau.

Ultimately, the surrounding area is hoping Village Creek Resort will be a gold star on the map for golfers all across the southeast.

"I think this course will be a reason for future growth in the area not just Wynne and Cross County, but St. Francis County as well," said Dangeau.

Dangeau also said that plans are already in the works for a nationwide advertising campaign to promote the course.