Time to ‘move on’ for Oak Lake Golf Course owners in Upper Burrell
The long-time owners of Oak Lake Golf Course and Lounge in Upper Burrell are putting the property up for sale, with the hope that whoever buys it maintains its present use.
“This place means a lot to us,” Jodi Conley said. “We’d just like to see it remain a golf course. It’s been a lot of hard work here. We’d be thrilled if somebody else (came) in here and had the same wonderful experiences that we have.”
The 18-hole course has been in the Conley family for close to five decades.
Family patriarch Bernie Conley bought it in 1972, after a brief stint of being one of three partners. His son Michael Conley, an Upper Burrell supervisor, and Michael’s brother-in-law, Charles Brouwer, took it over in 2013. Bernie Conley died in 2014.
The men are accepting sealed bids for the property until 3 p.m. Sept. 12.
“We’ve been in it for 46 years,” Michael Conley said. “It’s time for us to move on.”
When the course first opened in 1956 it had just nine holes, Jodi Conley said. Bernie’s dream was to add an additional nine.
“You can’t do anything with a nine hole golf course,” said Jodi Conley, who is married to Michael Conley and has worked at the course for more than 30 years. “You can’t bring in events. You can’t have usually more than one league on an evening unless you’ve got a back nine.
“We were definitely able to increase business by having that back nine.”
The family bought land from Alcoa to build the second half of the course. It was built in 1984 and opened in 1985.
Bernie, Michael and Charles, along with the excavating team of Matt and Ted Magistro, worked together to build the back nine, which was designed by Fred Garbin.
“Essentially, it was about five people,” Jodi Conley said. “Not a lot of people can say they’ve built a golf course, but they can.”
The golf course sits on roughly 116 acres and is made up of three tax parcels.
It is made up of two zoning districts — Agriculture Residential and Industrial. Some other allowable uses for the property include vineyards, farm market, single-family homes, and recreational space.
In addition to the property, interested parties can purchase assets that belong to the current golf club, such as restaurant and banquet equipment, turf equipment, and golf carts and intellectual assets.
Jodi Conley said the family greatly appreciates their customers, and they’ve made great friends and memories at the course. It is still open and will remain open for the season, she said.
“Sometimes, family businesses don’t work out so well,” she said. “I’m proud to say this one did.”
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected], or via Twitter @maddyczebstrib.