Complex Boasts Golf Hall of Fame

Reed Travel Features

ST. AUGUSTINE -- The World Golf Hall of Fame will be the focal point of Saint Johns, a 6,300-acre mixed-use development, when the facility opens in spring 1998.

One component will be World Golf Village, a 240-acre resort that will include a 300-room hotel, a 440-unit time-share project, golf courses and a shopping and dining area.

The World Golf Hall of Fame will incorporate more than 70 exhibits.

Several of the items on exhibit are from a museum in Pinehurst, N.C., now closed.

Another museum feature will be a 300-seat IMAX theater.

The hotel and an 80,000-square-foot conference center is under development by John Q. Hammons Hotels of Springfield, Mo.

According to a hotel spokesman, the property is not expected to bear a national franchise affiliation.

The atrium-style hotel will have a business center, a pool and a health center.

No rates have been established.

The first of three planned golf courses will open in late 1997 and bear the name of golfer Sam Snead as design consultant.

A related year-round golf academy will be operated under license from PGA Tours.

In March 1998, Vistana Development Ltd. of Orlando will open 440 time-share units in stages at Vistana Resort at World Golf Village.

According to Vistana chairman Rip Gellein, the resort will be patterned after Vistana's operations in Orlando and Hutchinson Island.

The one- and two-bedroom units will overlook the 17th and 18th holes of the first golf course.

Gellein said that, like other Vistana properties, the units will be available for nightly rentals with rates commissionable to travel agents. The rates have not been established.

The configuration of the 120,000 square feet designated for shopping and dining at World Golf Village still is in the planning stage.

Other components will include a Mayo Clinic medical facility, television studios and offices for PGA Tour Productions.

The resort will be situated at the intersection of Interstate 95 and International Golf Parkway between Jacksonville and downtown St. Augustine.

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