MWCD Board directs further negotiations for Atwood Lodge

July 29, 2010

Efforts by the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District (MWCD) to keep Atwood Lodge open are continuing.

 

The MWCD Board of Directors voted unanimously during a special meeting Thursday (July 29) to continue negotiations with the group that has been working to change the marketing strategy and develop new services and amenities in and around the 104-room lodge and meeting center.

 

Board members took action after meeting in executive session with officials from The Resorts Experience Company-Atwood (TREC-Atwood), along with Dean Gregg Andrews of Kent State University Tuscarawas and Carroll County native Dave Hall, the owner of LifeCenter Plus at Hudson, a health and wellness complex. TREC-Atwood signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding in May with the MWCD Board to redevelop Atwood Lodge.

 

The Board also approved action for Prospera Hospitality to comply with the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Act (WARN Act) by written notification to employees of Atwood Lodge. Prospera Hospitality operates the Lodge and employs the staff through a management contract with MWCD, which owns the facility.

 

The 45-year-old lodge operation has suffered from increasing deficits that exceeded $1 million alone in 2009. The MWCD Board of Directors earlier this year announced that it would close the lodge in October if a buyer or some other solution could not be found because of the increasing losses.

 

TREC-Atwood is a division of Resorts and Clubs Inc., which has a proven track record for repositioning and improving struggling resorts across the nation.

 

The lodge is located off Rt. 542 between Sherrodsville and Dellroy in Carroll County and includes the main hotel, dining room and conference center, two golf courses (an 18-hole regulation course and a lighted, nine-hole, par-3 course), 17 vacation cabins and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, along with other amenities.

 

The operation currently has about 20 full-time and dozens of part-time employees that varies in size depending on the time of year and need, and has an economic impact on the Carroll County community of an estimated $7 million annually, according to local officials.

 

The MWCD, a political subdivision of the state, was organized in 1933 to develop and implement a plan to reduce flooding and conserve water for beneficial public uses in the Muskingum River Basin, the largest wholly contained watershed in Ohio. Since their construction, the reservoirs (including Atwood Lake) and dams in the MWCD region have been credited for saving more than $7 billion worth of potential property damage from flooding, according to the federal government.

 

For more information about the MWCD, visit www.mwcd.org.

 

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