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Local Team To Open Sports Resort

Local Team to Open Sports Resort

Work has already begun at the historic location that once housed North Fork Country Club

JOHNSTOWN PA / April 30, 2019 – The highly anticipated acquisition of the former North Fork Country Club is complete and The Highlands Group is eager as they prepare for an Open House & Membership Drive scheduled for August 31, 2019.   

The Highlands at North Fork will be the premiere sports resort in the region offering expert training, top-notch facilities, and recreational options in golf, soccer, and tennis.  The property, located at 424 Country Club Road, Johnstown, PA 15905, formerly housed the historic North Fork Country Club. An enthusiastic team of entrepreneurs with expertise in finance, operations, management, and marketing along with professional training and experience in the golf, soccer, and tennis industries has been assembled to operate and manage the resort.  In addition to the existing team there are plans to add an additional 9 full time and 17 part time staff over the next year.

“This has truly been a team effort,” explains Brian Durham, owner, “without the support of area organizations like SCEDC and JARI as well as PITA at the state level, Bill Trevorrow at CNN Real Estate, and Attorney Kurt Nilson we wouldn’t have gotten this far”.  Josh Boland Executive Director at The Somerset County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), Michele Clapper Vice President of Economic Development at Johnstown Area Regional Industries (JARI), and Jeff Cramer Executive Vice President and Chief Lending Officer at 1st Summit Bank were instrumental in securing the funding needed to purchase the property and make improvements.  The Highlands also has the support of the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) through the funding of upcoming operational costs.

The resort will be home to the Highlander Sports Academies, providing four-season expert training and team options for golf, soccer, and tennis.   Highlander Soccer Academy (HSA) has been in operation for two years and continues to provide area soccer players with a higher level of training than any other.  Highlander Golf Academy (HGA) and Highlander Tennis Academy (HTA) have also operated successfully for numerous years under different names.

A key feature of The Highlands is challenging, yet playable, golf on one of the most scenic courses in the Laurel Highlands.  The course will be open to the public and feature nine holes located on the lower part of the property with five sets of tees for different skill levels. 
Greg Ortman, PhD, PGA, an expert in golf training, operations, and course redesign will manage the course and Highlander Golf Academy.  “The Highlands will be the best place to learn and play in the area,” explains Greg, “it will have a new feel but will still offer golfers of all levels the things they loved about playing North Fork”.

The Highlands will cater to guests providing food and beverage options including hot and cold beverages, beer and wine, sandwiches, snacks, and desserts.   Retail shopping for guests will be available as well, including: soccer equipment and merchandise through Soccer City; golf equipment and merchandise, club fitting & repair; tennis equipment and performance products for all athletes. The Highlands at North Fork will also offer event hosting and venue rental starting in 2020 taking full advantage of the amazing natural beauty of the area as well as the professional and “full-service” capabilities of the staff.  Many additional enhancements and activities are planned for the near future as well.  The combination of this incredible property and the expert staff will provide extensive opportunities over the coming years.



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