Olympia Resort listed for sale
Priced at $5.9 million

By Jake Meister - Freeman Staff

August 16, 2017

An aerial view of Olympia Resort: Hotel, Spa and Conference Center, which is up for sale at a listed price of $5.9 million.
Submitted photo

OCONOMOWOC - Olympia Resort: Hotel, Spa and Conference Center, a storied institution in Oconomowoc for several decades, is up for sale at a considerable price.

The more than 135,000-square-foot property at 1350 Royale Mile Road and the rights to the businesses are being sold together at a listed price of $5.9 million - a rate of $31,052 per room, Devin Piehl, a broker at First Weber Commercial, said Tuesday.

Piehl, who is in charge of the listing, said it has received interest from several parties in a short time.

Rick Eckert, who has owned Olympia for several decades, would prefer to sell to an individual or group that would operate the property and business in a similar fashion - as a hotel and convention center, Piehl said.

Eckert, who is in his 70s, had expressed a desire to retire in conversations with The Freeman last year and Piehl said that desire remains.

The sale of the property would include the name, but the new operator would have the choice of rebranding.

Based on experience, Piehl said he suspects the new owner would likely be affiliated with an existing hotel brand, giving Radisson as one example.

Piehl said he is taking advantage of Olympia's staff, using its 10-person, "seasoned" managerial staff as a sort of marketing tool.

"The new owner is going to need staff," Piehl said. "Everyone stays on in a transaction like this."

Rumors of sales, retirement have swirled before

Eckert announced plans last fall to convert the property into a 138-apartment retirement village for those 55 and older.

The proposal met a great deal of opposition from the city of Oconomowoc. In a Nov. 15 meeting the Oconomowoc Common Council rejected both a proposed rezoning of the property and the creation of a Planned Development Overlay District ordinance for it by moving both items back to the city's Plan Commission. The biggest concern council members had at the time was the lack of detail involved with the proposed conversion.

Eckert told The Freeman on Nov. 29 that he had decided to axe his plans in favor of keeping the property a resort due to recent developments. He said the reopening of Highway 67 had provided huge hope for the future of Olympia, adding that the long-term work on the major highway had caused considerable struggles for the business.

Eckert said his views on the future of 55-and-over retirement villages had soured, citing saturation.

Lastly, Eckert talked openly about his desire to soon change his lifestyle.

"I'm 70 years old. It's time for me to retire," he said in the November interview.

<<EARLIER: Axed Olympia Resort conversion raises questions