NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ohio — The future operation of Atwood Lake Resort and Conference Center is expected to be in the hands of Carroll County commissioners soon. The owner of the 104-room hotel and meeting center, the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District board of directors, has approved its intention to donate the lodge and property that it sits on to the Carroll County commissioners.
Final terms and conditions of the donation will be negotiated and are expected to be completed for approval by both the commissioners and the MWCD board members in upcoming weeks, according to officials from both agencies.
It’s hoped final donation documents can be prepared for approval by the end of the year.
Members of the MWCD board of directors agreed this summer to determine the interest of other governmental agencies in taking over the Atwood Lake Resort property through donation, and specifically the Carroll County commissioners, Kent State University at Tuscarawas and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Officials from ODNR declined the offer, and Kent State University at Tuscarawas is interested in potential partnerships with any future operation of the resort, but that does not want to own the property.
Wheaton said the commissioners had an immediate interest in taking over the lodge and will be working to find an appropriate operator as the terms of the donation are finalized.
Atwood Lake Resort, commonly referred to as Atwood Lodge, closed in October 2010 after suffering increasing deficits that exceeded $1 million in each of its last two years of operation.
Historically, the resort had not been a source of revenues for the MWCD, losing an average of more than $159,000 per year since it opened in 1965. The conservancy district is spending more than $60,000 per month in utilities, insurance, taxes, general maintenance and security for the idle property, in addition to staff time.
Atwood Lake Park, which is operated by the MWCD, and the two marinas located on Atwood Lake remain open for business as usual and are not affected by the negotiations.
The lodge is on about 600 acres of property owned by the MWCD off Route 542 between Sherrodsville and Dellroy in Carroll County and when it was fully operational, included the 104-room main hotel, dining room and conference center, two golf courses (an 18-hole regulation course and a lighted, nine-hole, par-3 course), 17 vacation cabins and indoor and outdoor swimming pools, along with other amenities.
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