Big Things Are Blooming at Reynolds Lake Oconee This Spring

Real Estate
Written by Karen Moraghan - Hunter Public Relations

With the 77th Masters Tournament just weeks away, nearby Reynolds Lake Oconee is putting the finishing touches on the initial multi-million dollar renovation. Nearly every facet of the award-winning residential golf community—from the 117 holes of breathtaking championship golf, to the AAA Five Diamond The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee—is getting polished-up for spring.

Residents, members, and visitors to Reynolds Lake Oconee—located on 19,000-acre Lake Oconee between Atlanta and Augusta—are abuzz over the new vitality the improvements have infused in the community. “Since MetLife acquired Reynolds Lake Oconee last summer, the excitement and energy is everywhere,” said Janice Sharp, Chairman of the Reynolds Lake Oconee Board of Advisors. “From day one, they began investing in renovations and enhancements that have been going on ever since. Everyone throughout the community is beaming about how great the place looks.”

Residents and members aren’t the only ones taking notice. “Compared with the same period last year, in the first 60 days of 2013 scheduled real estate tours are up 50 percent and real estate closings are up 75 percent,” said Reynolds Lake Oconee president Rabun Neal. “These sales include everything from a $300,000 cottage to a $900,000 premium lake lot. We have approximately $29 million in new home starts underway, reflecting a wide range of buyers from young families building their ‘weekend getaway home’ to young-at-heart retirees building their dream lakefront estate.”

“What’s equally exciting is our upcoming new release of exclusive lakefront properties,” Neal added. “These are absolutely some of the finest lake views we have offered in some time. I expect them to go quickly.”

“If the media is still reporting a poor economy, they didn’t get the memo at Reynolds Lake Oconee,” said Daniel Corporation executive John Gunderson, who heads owner MetLife’s initiatives at the community.

“Our 3,200 members are supporting their six championship golf clubs more than ever. Golf rounds are up, the four marinas are humming, membership dues stayed flat again this year, and the owners association is fully funded with healthy reserves. That’s very strong,” Gunderson added. “A few months ago we brought the MetLife blimp ‘Snoopy One’ in for a member event and more than 1,500 members attended. Most clubs don’t have that many members in total and we had 1,500 show up for a party on a Monday evening.”

While the membership has been having fun; golf crews have been hard at work preparing the courses for even more activity in 2013. Beginning at Great Waters, the famed Jack Nicklaus Signature course, enhancements to some of the waterfront holes and refurbishments to cart paths, comfort stations, and a newly painted clubhouse greeted golfers earlier this season.

Reynolds Lake Oconee also welcomed back noted course architect Bob Cupp to revisit his original masterpiece, The Landing, together with former Augusta National golf course superintendent Billy Fuller. Under their watchful eyes, The Landing is undergoing a renovation that includes hole redesign, new bunkering, the expansion of tee boxes and a new set of forward tees, as well as work on the cart paths and buildings. Moreover, much of Cupp’s original atmosphere is being recaptured with the planting of peripheral ornamental grasses that evoke a “heath land” feel while adding shape and challenges to many holes. The Landing is scheduled to re-open in April.

At the same time, The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, is undergoing an extensive renovation to the grounds, exterior, main dining venue Georgia’s Bistro, and all 251 guest rooms, suites, and cottages. Work will be done in time for The Masters. A new coffee shop has been added to The Ritz-Carlton’s amenities and will feature Starbucks® coffee, Ben and Jerry’s® ice cream, and other retail items.

Also this spring, excitement is building for the opening of Sandy Creek Barn, the latest addition to the numerous distinctive amenity venues at Reynolds Lake Oconee. Members of the Club and guests of The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee will enjoy the pastoral setting of this fully restored 1820s-era Pennsylvania Dutch barn overlooking a private 44-acre lake and set among 800 acres of pine forest. The barn will offer a unique alternative for corporate retreats, family reunions, and memory-filled weddings.

Investments at Reynolds Lake Oconee will continue this summer with plans for additional course renovations, the new National clubhouse, and special plans with TaylorMade for the Kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee and with GOLF Magazine Top 100 Instructor Charlie King for the Reynolds Golf Academy. It promises to be a very busy year.

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