ST. GEORGE — Roughly 100 people gathered Wednesday morning at a dusty lot at the intersection of Desert Color Parkway and Black Mountain Drive for the groundbreaking of BigShots Golf, which bills itself as a place to “hit that perfect shot” and meet with friends, family and business associates.
BigShots Golf owner and Ivins residents Larry Christensen grabbed a microphone as he took the stage.
“When I told my accountant that I was either going to break ground on this or be tarred and feathered,” Christensen said to the audience, “he said that he’d rather see me tarred and feathered.”
The audience laughed.
BigShots CMO and co-owner Randy Douglas told St. George News that an early potential investor missed this particular opportunity.
“He saw St. George, and he saw Desert Color,” Douglas said. “He said he didn’t see St. George growing. And that Desert Color was a pipe-dream. I almost want to invite him to the grand opening. Almost.”
St. George City Council members Jimmie Hughes, Dannielle Larkin and Gregg McArthur were in attendance Wednesday, along with Mayor Michele Randall. McArthur, who also serves as director of economic development at the St. George Area Chamber of Commerce, said he’s happy that Christensen and company didn’t give up.
“We’re a recreation destination,” McArthur told St. George News. “This adds another amenity to the mix.”
McArthur said that he was looking forward to the boost BigShots may bring to the local economy. Christensen said that he expects to bring between 85 to 180 jobs to St. George.
Len Erickson, of the Small Business Development Center at Dixie Tech, said it was well worth the four years they had put into the project.
“We’ve worked with various partners, and changed locations once.”
Erickson said that the current location was perfect for those weren’t inclined to play nine holes of golf. Rather, they could pop into BigShots and drive as many balls as they’d like while enjoying good food and drink and entertainment.
Christensen agreed. BigShots was originally going to be built on a site off River Road, but when the current lot opened up, Christensen said he was immediately intrigued.
“Our original location limited growth,” he said. “This spot opens it up. We’re going to have a full-service restaurant and bar, overnight stays. … And there may even be some more entertainment establishments in the works, I don’t know.”
Christensen winked after that last bit.
Instead of a traditional ribbon cutting, Christensen and company set exploding golf balls on tees sticking up from little green carpets. The mayor stepped up to one and took a few practice whacks before she finally connected with the ball, which dissolved upon contact into a royal blue cloud.
“Well, that was fun,” she said. Then she traded her golf club for a shovel and joined the groundbreaking lineup.
BigShots Golf is slated to open Jan. 15.
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