FARMINGTON, Pa. (KDKA) — The Hardy’s are at it again, adding something else to Nemacolin Woodlands, the five-star resort and getaway south of Uniontown.
With the canvas of their newest project a nine iron away, eccentric billionaire 92-year-old Joe Hardy introduced his friend and legendary golf course designer 89-year-old Pete Dye.READ MORE: Southbound Lanes Of I-79 Closed Due To Truck Rollover
It’s Dye’s design of Mystic Rock that draws golfers here from great distances, 24,000 rounds played just last year, and Hardy says the course is too busy.
“We do tie it up, and people moan, ‘I came out here to play a Pete Dye course,’ so I think it will give us relief. We’ll have more flexibility so they can be on a Pete Dye course,” said Hardy, the Nemacolin Woodlands resort founder.
So the Hardy’s identified 84 acres and gave their long-time friend a call once again.
The terrain for the coming new nine – rolling hills and lots of trees.
“It will be okay. The trees, you leave them in the middle, so it will be okay and it will be playable by the average golfer,” said Dye.
“He goes with the landscape,” Hardy says. “He doesn’t just level everything; he’ll go with it the outcropping or something, so it makes for better play.”
Dye tells KDKA’s John Shumway he designs from vision and feel.
“I’ve got 91 golf courses that I’ve built and I’ve never drawn a set of plans,” he says.
Others put his creation on paper.
While they might have teed off the construction Wednesday, clearing of timber actually started in December.
Hardy’s daughter, Maggie Hardy-Magerko, president of 84 Lumber and Nemacolin Woodlands, says the new course could host 600 housing units.
“We don’t want to go too excessive with housing, but it’s exciting,” she said. “We’re going to be building some houses and we hope people can live up here and enjoy it like we do.”READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues: 'There Really Are Problems Everywhere,' Even For Small Companies
But creation of the new nine holes is not going to happen quickly; after all, you have to grow grass. If everything goes as planned, they hope to be able to open play in July of 2017.
Meanwhile, the newest addition to the Nemacolin Woodlands, the Lady Luck Casino, is already up and running.
But the normally upbeat Hardys aren’t mincing words about the results they’re seeing at the Isle of Capri-run Lady Luck.
“I’ll be quite frank with you, it’s struggling,” said Hardy-Magerko. “I still think it’s a wonderful amenity for Nemacolin. Guests really enjoy it, so we’re very positive and pro-casino, so we’ll do whatever we can to help to better the business over there.”
“We have an option any time to buy them out, and I’m sure sometime we will,” adds Hardy.
Hardy has certainly proven he knows what works over the years as Nemacolin has grown from a 400 to a 2,000 acre getaway.
So, if you can imagine it, Joe and Maggie have probably already considered it for Nemacolin.
“The zip lines, and the jeep course, and the lions and tigers and bears, and no master plan,” said Hardy-Magerko. “We just do what we like to do.”
At 92, Hardy leaves the day-to-day operation of Nemacolin and 84 Lumber to his daughter, but is still very much a part of ideas and growth.
One thing is certain, this great-grandfather is proud of the family nature of Nemacolin.
“The family is here, and everything is great. I just enjoy it, that’s all,” says Hardy.MORE NEWS: Overturned Tractor-Trailer Crash Leads To Closure Of Inbound Lanes Of Parkway East, Prompts Major Traffic Delays