State giving Eagle Creek resort on Lake Shelbyville another shot

State giving Eagle Creek resort on Lake Shelbyville another shot

SPRINGFIELD — State officials are giving the Eagle Creek Resort on Lake Shelbyville at least one more shot at rebirth.

The resort, which was built in the 1980s, has been closed since 2009 after mold was found throughout the property. At the time it was closed, Eagle Creek consisted of 138 rooms, a conference center, dining facilities, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a large boat dock and an 18-hole golf course. Only the golf course is still operating.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Wayne Rosenthal told the state Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday that requests for proposals from developers are due later this month.

"We just had a vendor conference (Wednesday) to put out requests for proposals for a vendor to possibly come in there and take it over. What that's going to be we'll find out April 24th," Rosenthal said after the committee hearing. "There are a lot of problems with the existing lodge."

The request for proposals specifically mentions demolition of the existing resort. Two years ago, IDNR said the resort buildings should be razed after an engineering assessment said it would cost more than $17 million to rehabilitate the buildings and systems.

"The agency will accept proposals from firms, corporations, partnerships and individuals who are interested in submitting their qualifications as prospective vendor for the demolition, redevelopment and operation of the Eagle Creek Resort," the state-issued request for proposals said.

"It's all about what are your plans? What would you like to do?" Rosenthal said. "We sent this out to people who are potentially interested in operating the facility there in some manner. Then it's up to them to say what they'd like to have."

He said there were 40 people at the vendor conference although he wasn't sure how many represented potential developers.

"If we don't get any response, then we have to sit back and look at it again and say what do we want to do, what are our options from here?" he said.

Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, noted that Eagle Creek has been an issue since he became a state senator. Last month, the Trump administration nominated McCarter to be U.S. ambassador to Kenya.

"I've been here nine years, and it was the first problem somebody brought to me," McCarter said.