LAKE SUZY — When Allegiant Travel Company bought Kingsway Country Club in 2018, the goal was to create a premier golf destination for Southwest Florida.
The club, established in 1976, is located in the Lake Suzy community of DeSoto County near the border of Charlotte County and was expected to serve as a companion destination to Allegiant’s Sunseeker Resort in Charlotte Harbor.
Allegiant planned to close the club April 1, and begin “transformative” renovations on the course and more to achieve its “premier” status.
Then the pandemic hit.
As a result, Allegiant closed the course two weeks earlier than planned, leaving area homeowners with what has become an eyesore of dead grass and dying trees and more questions than answers as to the future of the club.
“It’s too bad they are pulling the funding especially after killing all of the grass,” said Lake Suzy resident Maggie Olson. “Now, it’s (all) brown in the area along the road — Kings Highway is just unsightly.”
Allegiant planned to complete the Kingsway renovations in December 2020. The renovations included replacement of all the turfgrass − which is why the course’s grass is dead − as well as other components around the course.
On March 18, Allegiant announced it would cease activity on the renovations at Kingsway and suspend construction of Sunseeker Resort in an effort to limit potential expenditures.
When asked about the future of Kingsway, Allegiant spokesperson Hilarie Grey said there was nothing new to tell.
“Now, with the arc of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term impact on Allegiant still largely unknown, the (Kingsway) course remains closed and the suspension of construction (at Sunseeker) is indefinite,” Grey said.
When asked if Allegiant had considered selling Kingsway, Grey said nothing has been determined.
“This (area) is where my father, who is 83, moved to retire thinking he’d have a beautiful view,” Denise Bennett Hoefer told the Sun. “He’s very concerned about property value and there being no maintenance to the course property, which borders the homes and the villas. Beyond being an eyesore, it’s a huge fire danger.”