By Morgan Kreutz
Ron Willard, President of The Willard Companies, has spent the last 40 years of his career transforming Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia into a resort area that has attracted people from across the globe to enjoy golf, recreation, and resort living. As Willard approaches retirement, his company will be selling The Water’s Edge, a 712 acre development, including 18-hole PGA Championship course hailed as one of the top in the mid-Atlantic, a private 36,000 square foot country club nestled along 13.5 miles of beautiful Smith Mountain Lake shoreline, and a 12,000 square foot gated estate.
“I’m 70 and I’m ready to downsize, travel and enjoy my golden years,” says Willard. He will continue to reside in the community as well as part-time in his Naples, Florida home. Willard developed the surrounding country club in the late 1980s and built the home in 2004. The property includes an equestrian center, a restored historic 48-seat 19th-century chapel, a clubhouse with tennis courts, a pool, pro shop and fitness center. The 18-hole PGA Championship course was originally designed by R.F. Loving, Jr., and received a comprehensive $5.2 million renovation in 2007.
“The home, country club, church, equestrian center and the peninsula of land sitting on Smith Mountain Lake facing the Blue Ridge Mountains are truly one of a kind,”says Willard. “It will inspire anybody that appreciates quality. They will find there are no corners cut, no blades of grass out of shape and the sand bunkers are hand raked. This is a must see.”
Willard’s son, Ron Willard II, has listed the property through Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate. According to Willard II, their business model continues to produce a positive cash flow and this is a prime opportunity for an investor to capitalize on and take into the future. The new owners will also have the option of contracting The Willard Companies to continue managing the operation.
“When I decided to build this estate, I wanted to build a monument to the lake and this particular community, and the land where I grew up,” says Willard, who grew up on a farm in the area.
RON WILLARD II, ASSOCIATE BROKER
1825 Water’s Edge Drive
Smith Mountain Lake · Penhook, VA 24137