|December 15, 2016||Comments Closed|
Brandon and Lacy Hodges place emphasis on faith, so they never lost hope in their pursuit of the former Spa at Canyon Oaks in Crawford, which they will transform into a haven for corporate outings, weddings, reunions and other events with a focus on family and relaxation.
They will call the property Gathering Oaks Retreat and hope to open in March after a makeover that will create 50 individual sleeping areas, a more appealing main entrance, an open-style main house and scattered sites where friends and families can build fires and chat or play games.
For years, the Spa at Canyon Oaks offered luxurious massages and styling, first-class accommodations and even walking trails, animals and cottages for overnight stays.
But it closed abruptly in July and remained on the market for months before Brandon and Lacy Hodges closed on the purchase recently.
“We almost pulled our offer on a couple of occasions, but doors kept opening and we kept praying,” said Lacy Hodges, 35, a physical therapist and yoga instructor by trade.
She and Brandon Hodges, who is employed by Ohio-based TMW Systems, a developer of software for the transportation industry, both have ties to Central Texas. They met while attending Texas A&M University and relocated from near Fort Worth to Greater Waco last year because they have two young girls and were impressed with the Midway Independent School District.
The couple had visited attractions similar to what they have planned elsewhere in Texas, including Moon River Ranch in the Falls County community of Satin.
Brad Harrell with Harrell & Associates said the property carried a listing price of $1 million before the business closed, and the asking price had slipped to $749,500 by the time the couple closed Dec. 9. Neither Harrell nor the new owners would disclose the final sale price.
Harrell said sales tactics had to change when the Spa at Canyon Oaks closed. He had to convince potential buyers the sprawling 27-room complex on 31 acres would meet the uses they envisioned, be it a bed-and-breakfast locale, corporate retreat or recreational vehicle park.
“I think it will make a wonderful location for the Hodges’ business model, and they have the youth, excitement and vigor to make it happen,” Harrell said.
Lacy Hodges said they are still considering features the Gathering Oaks Retreat could add in months and years to come.
“We may have horses, chickens and a big garden,” she said. “We may even turn part of the house into a catering kitchen specializing in farm-to-table dishes.”
The property will easily accommodate more than 200 people for a day or evening event and can accommodate at least 50 overnight guests, Lacy Hodges said.
She said she hopes to book events at least a year in advance but may make individual rooms available for $119 a night on shorter notice.
The couple is still working out details of what they would charge for a corporate retreat or other event that uses the entire facility for a weekend.
Lacy Hodges said she could envision visitors relaxing in hammocks, tossing horseshoes or washers and dining around roaring campfires. Lacy Hodges said she may make massage therapists available to guests, but the complex will not provide all the services once found at the Spa at Canyon Oaks.
Brandon and Lacy Hodges said they spoke at length with the previous owner of the property, Destiny Williams, who has not publicly discussed her decision to close the spa.
“Of course, I wanted to know some of the mechanics of running the place: information about water, electricity and other utilities,” Brandon Hodges said. “She told us they had built up the business over the 15 years they had owned it and employed 26 people. A caretaker, whom I hope to talk with more, said the business was performing six or seven services per room per day, and they had 15 or 20 rooms available. I have no feel for why they decided to close when they did.”
Brandon Hodges said he examined the water well serving the property and found it functioning properly, with new pumps and a 10,000-gallon storage tank. He said he will use the well water primarily for irrigation, while meeting the needs of guests with municipal or bottled water.
The Hodges said they want to make Gathering Oaks Retreat an asset to the community, something the area will embrace.
They plan to market the property on social media, and more information is available at gatheringoaksretreat.com.