Frank Stronach’s 420-acre Golf & Country Club abruptly closed its doors Wed. with no explanation. The implication is that the closure is permanent. This land was purchased by Stronach in addition to his huge Sleepy Creek Ranch.
The issue was the center of much controversy because the St Johns River Water Management District played a shell game with their science, first saying that the water withdrawal permit would damage the Silver River and springs, and then abruptly doing a one-eighty, claiming they found a new and better model which showed that, after all, the water permit was fine.
Their games outraged environmentalists who were insulted not only by the excessive permits designed to serve one private business, but also the shenanigans put out by the water management district, already beset by long-term ethics issues with Board Chairman John Miklos.
This action, followed shortly afterwards by the shameful, shoddy and biased so-called “science” of the SWFWMD at Brooksville when setting MFLs for the Rainbow and Crystal rivers, greatly increased the already wide breach of trust and respect between the public and these two water districts, obviously mere puppets for our governor.
The article was carried in the Gainesville Sun and the Ocala Star Banner.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Abrupt closure for Adena Golf & County Club
By Carlos E. Medina
“We regret that the club officially closed its doors and is no longer open for business as of Wednesday,” the message stated.
The sprawling 420-acre facility at 950 NW 75th St. opened in 2015 to much fanfare as the latest local project by Canadian auto parts magnate Frank Stronach.
Stronach, a billionaire who made much of his fortune as the founder of what would become Magna International, the largest auto parts manufacturer in North America, also operates Adena Springs South, a thoroughbred farm in northwest Marion County, and the enormous Sleepy Creek Ranch cattle operation near Fort McCoy.
The future plan for the country club property was not clear. A call to Stronach’s thoroughbred farm on Wednesday inquiring about the country club got a “No comment,” from Heather Martin. Also on Wednesday, Laura O’Malley at The Stronach Group’s headquarters in Aurora, Ontario, said she could not speak to the status of the club.
A sign outside one of the gates on Wednesday simply stated “Club is closed.” The club’s website and Facebook page were down. Members were sent a message informing them of the closure.
“It is with immense regret and sadness that we announce the closure of Adena Golf & Country Club, a place that we have all worked hard to make the finest private club in all of Florida,” according to a copy of the message.
The statement continued: “However, despite our best intentions, we can no longer bring you the first class membership experience that you have come to enjoy at Adena.”
Stronach bought more than 1,200 acres from the Stavola family in 2008 at a price of more than $17 million. The 420-acre portion used for the golf course included several lime rock pits which had been mined for the material used in road construction. The course, which cost at least $50 million to build, used the abandoned pits in the design. The plan was to build 120 homes along the course.
The course impressed members of the golf industry, who soon stamped it as one of the best in Florida.
It was not clear how many employees the club had at the time of its closing.
Contact Carlos E. Medina at 867-4157 or [email protected].