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Saying farewell to Pheasant Run

Guests say their goodbyes before iconic resort closes Sunday

ST. CHARLES – For Al Visco and his family, Pheasant Run Resort's indoor/outdoor pool and other amenities were a way to spend some family time together.

"We loved coming here, as much as we got a chance to," said the West Chicago resident. "It's sad to see it kind of disappear."

The iconic resort, which first opened in February 1963, is set to close its doors on Sunday following a failed attempt to auction off the resort. Pheasant Run was taking its last reservations on Saturday.

Visco and his family were checking out of Pheasant Run Saturday morning after staying overnight to celebrate his son's 12th birthday, which was Saturday.

"At least we could say we enjoyed it one last time," he said.

The family has been coming to Pheasant Run for 20 or so years.

"We love this place and we're going to miss it a lot," Visco said. "It's going to be a shame to see the grounds go and we're going to miss the pool and all the fun little things we used to do in here. The indoor/outdoor pool was definitely the biggest hit among our kids. And we used to do a brunch here. And we enjoyed the car shows that were here."

For his son, Miles Visco, staying at Pheasant Run was the perfect way to celebrate his birthday.

"I've been coming here for a long time, I think since I was 4 or 5 years old," he said. "It's really sad that the place is going to be closing. Even just walking through the halls, the place is just a skeleton of its former self. Nobody is anywhere in the halls. Almost everything in here is closed now. It's really sad that it's going to be closing."

Ronald Szatko, of Addison, stopped by Pheasant Run on Saturday to see if he could purchase some souvenirs before it closed its doors. He also was sad the resort is closing.

"It was one of the few places where you had a lot of entertainment," Szatko said.

Edward McArdle opened Pheasant Run Resort in February 1963 on land that was previously a dairy farm owned by Colonel Edward Baker. An online auction to sell the financially struggling resort took place Feb. 10-12. The final bid to purchase the resort was $6 million, which did not meet the minimum selling price established by the seller. The auction did not include the sale of Pheasant Run Mega Center or the 18-hole golf course.

Colliers International real estate services and investment management company previously had listed Pheasant Run as being for sale on its website. During the recession in 2011, the 293-room resort at 4051 E. Main St. went into foreclosure. A hotel investors group in 2014 bought Pheasant Run, which since then has been managed by Schaumburg-based Hostmark Hospitality Group.

While the owners of the Pheasant Run Resort were not successful in selling the financially struggling resort through an online auction, the Pheasant Run Mega Center apparently will have a new owner.

"The city is aware the property is under contract, but we are not at liberty to share additional information at this point," St. Charles City Planner Ellen Johnson said in an email.

Speculation is that a car dealership has purchased the 35,000 square-foot Mega Center, which opened in 1985 and served as an event space for Pheasant Run.

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