The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Local News

April 10, 2014

Buck's Barn hotel, golf course property purchased

THOMSON, Ill. — Two local men are doing what they can to put Thomson back on the map, and are hoping their newest business venture will be a swinging success.

Ryan Eissens and Zac Vandendooren, both natives of Thomson, grew up playing golf on the village’s 18-hole course formerly known as Buck’s Barn. When the establishment shut down in the fall of 2011, both were disappointed to see a Thomson landmark no longer thriving and closing up shop.

Because of that, the two took it upon themselves in March to get the facility back up and running under the name Sandburr Run Hotel and Golf Course.

”I’ve lived in Thomson my whole life and this was the first place I ever golfed,” Eissens said. “Being in construction, I knew what it would take to get it back up and running so we decided to go for it. We’re just looking to get people back in Thomson.”

The two business partners bought the 52-room hotel and the original 9-hole golf course for a negotiated price of $323,000 and are hoping to get everything back in business by this summer. The restaurant that shares a parking lot with the hotel is a separate parcel of land and was not included in the offer but is still for sale and generating interest, according to Eissens.

With the property closing only two weeks behind them, Eissens is anticipating the hotel, bar and an all new pro-shop will be ready for visitors to enjoy by the middle of May. However, the restoration of the golf course will take a little longer to complete.

In order to get the facility ready for the 300 or more members they hope to gain this summer, Eissens, Vandendooren and their live-in hotel manager, Zack Swanson, need to ensure the course’s greens, fairways and tee boxes are fit for the area’s best golfers.

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