A promotional banner
illustrates the interior and exterior of “The Carriage
House” event barn proposed by the Prestwick Group and
approved by the Lac La Belle Plan Commission.
Kelly Smith/Special to
LA BELLE — The Prestwick Group’s plans to build a
5,500-square-foot event barn next to the Club at Lac La
Belle Golf Course, in addition to renovating the golf
course club house and constructing new parking lots for
the facilities, have been approved by the village.
The two-story, wood-frame event facility, called “The
Carriage House,” will accommodate about 240 guests and
include a “Grand Hall,” coat room, bathrooms, and a
kitchen facility, on the upper level.
The lower level will be used primarily for golf cart
storage, but will have several bathrooms, a storage
room, and a “Brides Room,” according to Village Engineer
Mark Mickelson of Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc.
The renovation plan for the clubhouse includes a new
restaurant, “Willie’s Pub,” to be located on the east
side of the building, replacing the existing golf pro
The restaurant is named after Willie Anderson, a
Scottish-born golfer who was a teaching professional at
the golf course and won four U.S. Open Championships
during the early 1900s.
The Carriage House is named in honor of a carriage house
that was located on the property of one of the founders
of the golf course, which was established more than 120
years ago and is one of the oldest in the state,
according to Matt Morse, president and founder of the
Morse pledged to village officials the event barn would
be a “five star” facility located near the newly
constructed golf course that would be “a landscape
Matt Morse, founder and president of Prestwick Group,
describes to Lac La Belle plan commissioners the details
of his company’s plans to build an event barn and
renovate the clubhouse at the Club at Lac La Belle Golf
Course, owned by the company.
Kelly Smith/Special to
According to the plans, the existing banquet hall in the
clubhouse will be maintained but toilets and showers in
the basement will be removed.
Three new parking lots will be built to serve the
facilities with only the existing handicapped parking
north of the clubhouse remaining.
The plans were unanimously approved by the Plan
Commission during an 80-minute meeting Monday night,
barely 72 hours after the plans were revealed to
commission members and village residents.
Village Attorney Hector de la Mora told The Freeman the
commission’s final decision is not subject to review by
the Village Board and the commission’s unusual Monday
night meeting was held to accommodate Prestwick’s hopes
of having the event barn opened by late August.
Prestwick President Tyler Morris said after the meeting
he was “very excited” about the commission’s approval
and hopes to break ground on the event barn as soon as
possible, perhaps this week.
Morris acknowledged that 29 weddings were booked for the
event barn before it was approved by the village.
Overall development proposal
The event barn and clubhouse renovations are part of an
overall development proposal by Prestwick that includes
reconstruction of the historic 18-hole golf course and
the construction of a corporate headquarters adjacent to
the golf course.
The company, presently headquartered in Sussex, uses
recycled materials to manufacture outdoor furniture and
equipment for golf courses.
Some residents have criticized village officials for
their lack of transparency in discussing the extensive
development agreement the village privately negotiated
with the Prestwick Group during late 2017 and early 2018
before it was publicly approved in early May of 2018.
However, while some of the 19 residents attending the
meeting Monday night raised questions about the details
of the plan, none voiced objections to the event barn
and clubhouse renovations.
Only two commissioners, Robert Butendorf and Mark Wille,
both also village trustees, posed extensive, sometimes
detailed questions about the plans.
They both expressed support for the plans.