Mystic Hills may expand to offer overnight accommodations

CULVER - A local golfers mecca will test the waters for overnight stays.

Mystic Hills Golf Course in Culver cleared a first step on their way to a few cabins for those wishing to play the course and spend the night. The plan calls for five cabins to eventually be built but Mystic Hills Pro Dave Pugh told the Marshall County Plan Commission that the plan also calls for a very measured approach.

"I think we'd be foolish to plunge into full bore," said Pugh. "We'll probably do three cabins to see if there is a demand but not all five in one shot."

The course is one of the top courses in the country and one of only nine courses in the state of Indiana on the "Pete Dye Golf Trail". The course was designed by Dye - on of the top course architects in the world - and hand selected by him for inclusion in the "Trail".

Mystic Hills is the northernmost course in the trail.

The Cabins will be 40 foot by 40 foot structures with a pair of living rooms, bathrooms a kitchen and common area. The original plan calls for two of the structures near the practice tee and green at the course with another adjacent to the clubhouse.

A pair of neighbors - Jim and Joann Walsh were present at the meeting to ask several questions of the owners and the Commission foremost among them were security concerns and just how far the development would proceed.

Mystic Hills is a Planned Unit Development - P.U.D. - in zoning terms and while a P.U.D. allows for many uses of the property, each additional use must be approved by the Plan Commission.

The Walsh's security concerns were predicated on the relative rustic location of the course and that it's distance from police patrols might allow for unruly guests or other problems.

Pugh told the board that after a recent break in at the course Culver Lake Patrol officers had increased their presence in the area after closing hours. He also stated that the course had a security system that allowed the grounds to be monitored 24 hours a day.

Board members were also concerned that the accommodations be offered as part of packages that included rounds of golf and not just as "hotel" accommodations for any purpose.

Pugh told the Commission that because of rough times in the golf industry Mystic Hills was attempting to move forward to insure their business would remain strong. The possibility of more cabins depends on how the initial ones go over in the market place.

The Commission approved the plans for the cabins as part of golf related stays.