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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Area Businesses Get New Owners

The change in seasons also carried over to the local business community, where several long-time establishments have new owners.


Last month, A. Wayne Smith sold The Farm at South Mountain to Pat Christofolo, who also owns Santa Barbara Catering and co-owns The House at Secret Garden with her son, Dustin.


Smith owned the 10-acre property near 32nd Street and Southern Avenue since 1983.


Christofolo is no stranger to The Farm at South Mountain, having been involved in restaurants on the property since 1997. The three existing restaurants – Quiessence, Morning Glory Cafe and The Farm Kitchen – will remain and any changes early on will be minimal.


In addition to continuing to carry out Smith’s vision for The Farm, Christofolo is planning to open a garden-lifestyle store on the pecan tree-lined property and offer more learning opportunities.


“One of our goals is to build a schedule of educational classes taking place all over The Farm,” she said. “The classes will range from gardening to cooking, yoga, tai chi and art.”


Christofolo is also planning to expand the Farmers Market.


About a quarter mile south on 32nd Street, The Legacy Golf Resort is also going through changes. In September, Wyndham Worldwide announced that its subsidiary, Wyndham Vacation Ownership, acquired Shell Vacations LLC its subsidiaries, which included property management operations at The Legacy Golf Resort.


According to Tom Johnson, Wyndham vice president of product development and integration, a review is underway to determine renovation opportunities, including possibly adding a golf academy. An extensive clubhouse renovation is already in progress. Once complete, the facility will have a larger capacity for hosting banquets and special events.


From an operations perspective, Johnson said business at The Legacy Golf Resort will go on as usual.


“We’re continuing normal Shell business operations, to ensure quality and continuity at the resort,” he stated. “Our end goal is just to provide our owners and guests world-class vacation destinations, and we believe that the Phoenix area has much to offer to all types of vacationers.”


Wyndham Vacation Ownership also recently acquired 74 units at the former Desert Arroyo property near 48th Street, south of Baseline Road. The resort is scheduled to re-open on Dec. 14 as the new WorldMark Phoenix – South Mountain Preserve.


In Laveen, the former Bougainvillea Golf Club at Baseline Road and 57th Avenue re-opened on Friday, Oct. 12, as Southern Ridge. Steve Dallas purchased the property in July and kept it closed to remodel the clubhouse and clean up the course.


Dallas also owns Apache Creek Golf Club in Apache Junction and has an ownership in Las Colinas Golf Club in Queen Creek.


“A lot of people worked all summer just trying to get ready to open up,” said Dallas, adding that the course has all new equipment. “We did a lot of tree trimming and stuff just to make the course somewhat presentable.”


He stressed that upgrading course will be an ongoing process.


“We’re in a long-term plan for the next couple of years,” Dallas said. “We’re really going to do a lot of things to make everybody happy.”


Future plans include adding clubs for men and women, as well as involvement with golf programs at local schools. A partnership is already underway with the golf students at Betty H. Fairfax High School.


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