Couples left without a venue after country club closes

Kent County

WALKER, Mich. (WOOD) — The Lincoln Country Club in Walker is permanently closed.

It’s the end of an era for the west side staple and the elimination of another wedding venue. Now, some brides and grooms are left without a place to celebrate their big day.

Brides and grooms learned Wednesday morning that their wedding was canceled. However, it’s clear from the work being done at the property that the venue knew it was closing well before then.

“I’m just sad that it’s going to be gone,” said Benjamin Velthouse.

The groom-to-be grew up going to the Lincoln Country Club. It was those memories that motivated him and his fiancée to celebrate their marriage here.

COVID-19 restrictions forced them to postpone their summer 2020 wedding to 2021. On Wednesday, they received a call that changed their plans again.

“He told us that they were going to be closing down,” recalled Velthouse.

It was a shock to the couple who was told everything was a go when they called to check in a few months ago. Thursday, the property demolition was well underway, and an employee told News 8 that they moved out of their office last week.

“I’m like, ‘how come I didn’t know this,?” Velthouse said.

News 8 found plans submitted to the city for a development with 65 single-family homes, 214 apartment rentals, retail space and a community park. The property has been sold to a developer Stoneleigh Companies of Illinois.

The city says that the developer has been working with the city for about a year now. The site plans for the 105 acres still need approval, which includes rezoning to move forward. A meeting for public comment is tentatively scheduled for Feb. 24.

News 8 made multiple attempts to get in touch with management at Lincoln Country Club. No one agreed to an interview. However, News 8 was told that the couples would get their money back.

“It’s a sad, sad thing, but we’ll get through it,” said Velthouse, who is now planning a backyard wedding.

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