Last weekend for Summit Lake Winery
Friday, September 21, 2012
For over a decade, Summit Lake Winery has been perched on a hillside between Holts Summit and Jefferson City, offering a place for Mid-Missourians to enjoy drinks from Missouri wine and beer producers as well as a place to enjoy local entertainment.
But after this weekend, the popular establishment will close, possibly for good.
On Friday, patrons of the winery went to the business Web site to find this message:
“R.I.P. February 1,2012 -September 20, 2012.”
It looked like Thursday night would be the last night the business would be open.
Foreclosure proceedings changed ownership of the property.
Sterling Scott, a Realtor with Sperry Van Ness, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Advisors of Kansas City, represents the property’s new owners.
Scott said the group of investors he represents holds the loan on the property, which has been in bankruptcy for several months.
The Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchises in the world, with franchisees in three nations, 38 states and 153 markets.
“I have had inquiries from a half dozen people today. I don’t yet even know the value of the property or how much to ask for it. I am evaluating it now,” Scott said Friday afternoon.
Summit Lake Owner John Ferrier said they had their loan with Premier Bank, which eventually went under.
“The FDIC came in and put all the notes the bank had up for sale, including ours,” he said. “We had thought we had a group together to buy the place back, but CRE outbid us.”
“We begged them to allow us to stay open this weekend because we had two weddings and several other events scheduled,” Ferrier added. “They allowed us to do so.”
The news of the closing came Friday morning, in a posting on the business’s Facebook page.
Numerous reactions followed, most shocked and saddened by the announcement, many talking about their experiences there.
“This is a great location,” Scott said. “It is situated on 15 acres and has a 3,500-square-foot building. This business was doing fine.”
But Ferrier said they had been feeling the effects of the bad economy as far back as 2007.
“Costs began to rise for food and gas,” he said. “This summer was especially bad for us. We advertise ourselves as an outdoor venue and the weather was just too hot for people to sit outside.”
For now, Ferrier said he’s telling people to come out and enjoy this weekend, but after Sunday, the future is up in the air for the establishment.
“Our wines are still being distributed,” he said. “As far as the retail establishment, we’ll have to wait and see what happens after Sunday.”
Don Norfleet of the Fulton Sun contributed information used in this story.