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July 1, 2010

 

Couple plan indoor minigolf course

18-hole course would be in 14,202-square-foot structure at Shipwreck minigolf on Route 13

MinigolfJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
From left, Connor, 7, his mother Tina and brother Tyler Muller, 12, play a round of miniature golf Wednesday at Shipwreck miniature golf course in Cortlandville. A new indoor course will be completed by late summer.

By HOLDEN B. SLATTERY
Staff Reporter
hslattery@cortlandstandard.net

CORTLANDVILLE — Stephen and Patricia Jordan plan to turn Shipwreck Pirate Mini Golf on Route 13 into a year-round business by creating an indoor minigolf course next to their outdoor course.
They plan to start the construction project Aug. 16 and open the indoor golf facility by the first week in November. Homer-based Finger Lakes Construction is the general contractor. The Jordans declined to say the cost of the project.
The building would be 14,202 square feet, with an 18-hole mini-golf course in a 10,206 square-foot space and party rooms and bounce machines for children in the rest of the building, Patricia Jordan said Wednesday.
The golf course would feature black lights and objects that glow in the lighting, she said.
The town Planning Board gave the Jordans a conditional permit during its meeting Tuesday night, and the Town Board will set a public hearing on July 21, before voting on whether to give the company an aquifer protection district special permit.
The permit is required for any commercial construction project in the town that will cost more than $150,000, said town Zoning Officer Bruce Weber.
The Jordans said the construction will not pose a threat to the aquifer because the construction workers will not dig to build a foundation and construction vehicles will only be on the site for a couple of days. Weber said he does not think the amount of increased traffic at the site during the winter would make a significant impact on the aquifer.
After opening the outdoor course in 2005, the Jordans want to remain open during the winter now that they are preparing to retire soon from their teaching careers. Patricia Jordan, 54, is a math teacher at Cortland Junior-Senior High School, and Stephen Jordan, 57, is a history teacher at McGraw High School. They said they will retire within the next couple of years and continue to work during their retirement.
“We’re a great example of what the new seniors will be,” Stephen Jordan said. “One door’s closing for us — education. Another one’s opening with this business.”
They said they want to expand to offer more people more opportunities for winter entertainment in Cortland and to increase their revenue, noting that they have equal expenses throughout the year but only make a profit during the warm months.
“Cortland in the winter has very limited opportunities for families to do anything,” Stephen Jordan said Friday.
The Jordans said they hope to open the new indoor facility for community groups, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and senior citizens who do not have a senior center to use nearby. They said they also plan to have three minigolf leagues playing inside.
The Jordans said they thought of the idea to add an indoor golf facility about two years ago, but were waiting for the town to install water and sewer lines on Route 13. They use a water well and septic system now and would not be able to develop the indoor facility without water and sewer lines, Patricia Jordan said.
They said they see Route 13 in Cortlandville as a growing area and hope that more people invest in it. Workers are finishing the construction of the Walmart Supercenter across the road from the minigolf course and widening Route 13 for the Planned Finger Lakes East Business Park, which will be next to Shipwreck Pirate Mini Golf.
“I’d like to see more people investing in it and moving it forward,” Patricia Jordan said. “I can see it having a great future with the right direction.”
The Jordans said opening the indoor course is a gamble, because they cannot be sure that people will pay to play minigolf in the winter. The only other indoor-mini golf course in upstate New York that they are aware of is in Niagara Falls.
Stephen Jordan said offering high-quality minigolf will be the best way to attract customers.
“We want to offer quality golf indoors,” he said. “It’s the golf that attracts people. The other stuff is secondary.”
The Jordans travel throughout the country to look at other minigolf courses and get ideas for golf holes. When they travel for other reasons, they always check for nearby minigolf courses. They said that in the past 10 years they have seen at least 1,000 courses, including ones in California, Florida, Canada and the Dominican Republic.

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