The Proctor City Council granted a conditional-use permit for two residents to develop a miniature golf course and cafe.
Business partners and mother-son duo Kim Sorenson and Luke Lindstrom plan to build an 18-hole outdoor mini golf course at the corner of Boundary Avenue and Waterview Drive in Proctor. They both are Proctor High School graduates and longtime community members.
“The Proctor-Duluth-Esko area, we need something like this,” Sorenson told the Proctor Planning and Zoning Commission in a public hearing on April 26. “I’ve been wanting to do something like this for 20 years.”
The proposed locally owned and operated Rogue Eagle Mini Golf course would be designed and constructed by New Jersey-based Harris Miniature Golf. Lindstrom said the clubhouse cafe will serve ice cream and soft pretzels, and other menu items are in the works.
Sorenson and Lindstrom said the new business would bring something new to the town that will benefit both residents and the economy. It also would create jobs, they said, and would be a family-friendly activity that would tie in well with its proximity to Spirit Mountain Recreation Area.
“Proctor has a special place in my heart and I think it needed something fun,” Lindstrom said. “There are so many families in Proctor and it’s just missing that fun family activity. Whether you’re 4 years old or 90 years old, you can play mini golf.”
Heidi Johnson, a former employee at the Spirit Mountain Villas, said she saw an incredible demand for a full-scale mini golf course while working in the hospitality industry.
“Spirit Mountain does have a mini golf course there, but nothing to this caliber and I think it would be very beneficial,” Johnson said during the public hearing last week. “I can’t tell you how often we have requests for this exact thing.”
The City Council approved the permit for development on Monday, after the planning and zoning commission approved it the Monday before.
“You could sense that there was excitement and an eagerness to get going and a desire to truly be in Proctor,” said Councilor Jake Benson.
At the planning and zoning hearing, commissioners discussed the importance of determining the necessary amount of parking spaces, which will be accessed from Boundary Avenue. They also set conditions for venue lighting to face directly downward to prevent light pollution and for business hours to operate within the time frame of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Proctor resident Dale Nyman, who lives on Waterview Drive across the street from the proposed development, told the commission he opposes the mini golf course because it will disrupt the wildlife in the area and he foresees parking overflowing into the street. He also shared concerns about noise and light pollution of the area, plus diminished property value and need for increased security in the neighborhood.
Now that the conditional use permit has been approved, Lindstrom said they’re ready to get to work and could open as early as August. He and Sorenson have a purchase agreement for two single-acre parcels. The 18-hole course will be developed on one acre and, depending on the popularity, they hope to add a second 18-hole course to the second acre in the future.