Pheasant Run's plans spark opposition from DuPage Airport Authority

Pheasant Run's plans spark opposition from DuPage Airport Authority

Conflict has arisen between Pheasant Run Resort and the DuPage Airport Authority, which has filed a lawsuit seeking acquisition of the resort through its eminent domain powers. Pheasant Run's main tower is pictured in the background. (Sandy Bressner - sbressner@shawmedia.com)

ST. CHARLES – Mark Koenen remembers the moment he first learned of Pheasant Run Resort.

At that time, Koenen – who later would assume leadership roles within the city, including his current title of city administrator – was a Wisconsin resident preparing a move to Illinois. His neighbor recommended he settle in St. Charles – and provided a specific reason why.

“ ‘Oh, move to St. Charles because Pheasant Run is there,’ ” Koenen recalled her saying. “This was 1982.”

Pheasant Run, 4051 E. Main St., has had more than 50 years to make a name for itself. In that time, the resort has undergone renovations and expansions, including the opening of its 16-story tower and its 35,000-square-foot Mega Center in the 1980s. Honeymooners have stayed there, entertainers have performed there, and crowds have flocked there for events and conventions.

“It’s certainly a social center,” Koenen said, further describing Pheasant Run as a “calling card to the St. Charles community.”

But now, as Pheasant Run plans for the future, it faces a lawsuit from the DuPage Airport Authority that calls its fate into question. Through its eminent domain powers, the airport authority seeks acquisition of Pheasant Run to protect its runways and airspace.

The resort’s ownership expressed its commitment to the property in a statement.

“As an iconic institution of St. Charles and the greater region for over 50 years, Pheasant Run Resort continues to serve the community and host important events,” according to the statement. “We are very confident that this issue with the airport will be resolved quickly so that our current and future guests will continue to enjoy the exceptional experience provided by our hotel and resort.”

Saint Charles Resort LLC bought Pheasant Run in 2014. The resort is managed by Schaumburg-based Hostmark Hospitality Group.

The airport opposes potential new uses for the Pheasant Run property, which were presented to St. Charles aldermen last fall as a concept plan. Retail, office and residential uses were proposed.

Phillip Luetkehans, an attorney representing the airport authority, has said the residential use is “not appropriate” next to an airport. In a Dec. 9 memo to the airport authority board, he noted staff has “strong concerns” about “future noise and safety problems” residences could cause for the airport.

The memo indicated a third party valued the Pheasant Run property at about $12 million.

Losing Pheasant Run would have a financial impact on the city, as St. Charles gets more than $1 million a year from the resort through such means as taxes and utilities, Koenen said.

In terms of guest rooms in St. Charles, Pheasant Run is second to the Q Center, said DeAnn Wagner, the associate director of the St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It also offers corporate meeting space, and – through its conventions and entertainment options – it has introduced the community to visitors from around the state and from around the country.

“Certainly, it is a huge benefit to the community,” Wagner said.

The statement from Pheasant Run indicated the resort continues to make investments in the property.

“Pheasant Run Resort remains fully operational as the ownership and management team continue to invest in room upgrades and property improvements that enhance each guest’s experience,” according to the statement. “We will continue to honor our commitments to our guests and future guests as we always have in the past, and look forward to ensuring Pheasant Run is a top destination for years to come.”

The case between Pheasant Run and the airport is expected in court April 18.

Know more

On its website, Pheasant Run Resort details key moments in its history. Here is a sample:

• Feb. 15, 1963 – Edward J. McArdle opens Pheasant Run Resort on a site Col. Edward Baker once used as a dairy farm. The resort had 184 rooms and suites.

• 1964 – The Pheasant Run Playhouse opens, giving the resort its first dinner theater.

• 1980 – Pheasant Run Resort adds 200 guest rooms with the opening of its 16-story tower.

• 1985 – The Mega Center opens, providing 35,000 square feet of event space.

• 1989 – Zanies Comedy Club opens.

• 2002 – Pheasant Run’s Mainstage undergoes an extensive renovation that brought a new theater lobby, stadium seating, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and interior and exterior redesigns.

• March 2005 – A $24 million project brought makeovers to the tower guest rooms, amphitheater and expo center.

ST. CHARLES – Mark Koenen remembers the moment he first learned of Pheasant Run Resort.

At that time, Koenen – who later would assume leadership roles within the city, including his current title of city administrator – was a Wisconsin resident preparing a move to Illinois. His neighbor recommended he settle in St. Charles – and provided a specific reason why.

“ ‘Oh, move to St. Charles because Pheasant Run is there,’ ” Koenen recalled her saying. “This was 1982.”

Pheasant Run, 4051 E. Main St., has had more than 50 years to make a name for itself. In that time, the resort has undergone renovations and expansions, including the opening of its 16-story tower and its 35,000-square-foot Mega Center in the 1980s. Honeymooners have stayed there, entertainers have performed there, and crowds have flocked there for events and conventions.

“It’s certainly a social center,” Koenen said, further describing Pheasant Run as a “calling card to the St. Charles community.”

But now, as Pheasant Run plans for the future, it faces a lawsuit from the DuPage Airport Authority that calls its fate into question. Through its eminent domain powers, the airport authority seeks acquisition of Pheasant Run to protect its runways and airspace.

The resort’s ownership expressed its commitment to the property in a statement.

“As an iconic institution of St. Charles and the greater region for over 50 years, Pheasant Run Resort continues to serve the community and host important events,” according to the statement. “We are very confident that this issue with the airport will be resolved quickly so that our current and future guests will continue to enjoy the exceptional experience provided by our hotel and resort.”

Saint Charles Resort LLC bought Pheasant Run in 2014. The resort is managed by Schaumburg-based Hostmark Hospitality Group.

The airport opposes potential new uses for the Pheasant Run property, which were presented to St. Charles aldermen last fall as a concept plan. Retail, office and residential uses were proposed.

Phillip Luetkehans, an attorney representing the airport authority, has said the residential use is “not appropriate” next to an airport. In a Dec. 9 memo to the airport authority board, he noted staff has “strong concerns” about “future noise and safety problems” residences could cause for the airport.

The memo indicated a third party valued the Pheasant Run property at about $12 million.

Losing Pheasant Run would have a financial impact on the city, as St. Charles gets more than $1 million a year from the resort through such means as taxes and utilities, Koenen said.

In terms of guest rooms in St. Charles, Pheasant Run is second to the Q Center, said DeAnn Wagner, the associate director of the St. Charles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

It also offers corporate meeting space, and – through its conventions and entertainment options – it has introduced the community to visitors from around the state and from around the country.

“Certainly, it is a huge benefit to the community,” Wagner said.

The statement from Pheasant Run indicated the resort continues to make investments in the property.

“Pheasant Run Resort remains fully operational as the ownership and management team continue to invest in room upgrades and property improvements that enhance each guest’s experience,” according to the statement. “We will continue to honor our commitments to our guests and future guests as we always have in the past, and look forward to ensuring Pheasant Run is a top destination for years to come.”

The case between Pheasant Run and the airport is expected in court April 18.

Know more

On its website, Pheasant Run Resort details key moments in its history. Here is a sample:

• Feb. 15, 1963 – Edward J. McArdle opens Pheasant Run Resort on a site Col. Edward Baker once used as a dairy farm. The resort had 184 rooms and suites.

• 1964 – The Pheasant Run Playhouse opens, giving the resort its first dinner theater.

• 1980 – Pheasant Run Resort adds 200 guest rooms with the opening of its 16-story tower.

• 1985 – The Mega Center opens, providing 35,000 square feet of event space.

• 1989 – Zanies Comedy Club opens.

• 2002 – Pheasant Run’s Mainstage undergoes an extensive renovation that brought a new theater lobby, stadium seating, state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems and interior and exterior redesigns.

• March 2005 – A $24 million project brought makeovers to the tower guest rooms, amphitheater and expo center.

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