• Hunter Cresswell

Change is in Dunnderosa's future

Co-owner: ‘Any talk about development is premature’

By Hunter Cresswell

Change is in the future for a Chelsea golf course, but only time will tell what that future will actually look like.

This view from the first tee of Dunnderosa Golf Club in Chelsea may change in the future as the course is closed and the land it sits on is in the process of being subdivided. Low Down file photo

Local French newspaper Le Droit published a story last month about development plans at the Dunnderosa Golf Club, including the possibility of a housing development replacing the closed golf course, but the property’s co-owner Pierre Wistaff recently told The Low Down that, “Any talk about development is premature.”

He added that some sort of development in that area is possible in the future, but he’s not involved in it because he’s in the process of selling that land now.

Le Droit reported that the “first phase” of development will be the possible additions of snow tubing, a wood-fired pizzeria, casse-croute, and a tiki bar to the area near the mini-golf course. It also reported that a second phase of development is a housing development spread across 43 acres of former golf course, possibly including a hotel or inn at the corner of Notch and Kingsmere Roads.

Wistaff wouldn’t comment on the accuracy of what Le Droit reported about the housing development plans and said the “group” that would do any development in the area isn’t ready to release their plans yet.

“I don’t think Le Droit should have put what they put because it’s not necessarily accurate,” he clarified.

Wistaff became co-owner of Dunnderosa in 2003; the club has been around since 1964.

He also owns the Centre Pure Fitness on Saint-Joseph Boulevard in Gatineau. Earlier this year, he bought out his co-owner’s shares and decided to no longer offer golf and focus the business solely on mini-golf.

“It wasn’t profitable,” he explained. “With the summer we’re having, I’m really glad it’s closed.”

Wistaff now co-owns the 53-acre property and mini-golf course business with Gatineau-based RE/MAX real estate broker Mathieu Chenier, who was the source Le Droit quoted in its story. Chenier didn’t return a request for comment.

Wistaff has submitted a subdivision proposal request with the municipality of Chelsea to split the 53-acre parcel into a 10-acre plot where the mini-golf course is, and a 43-acre plot where the golf course is, and said he’s in the process of selling to a group, but said he isn’t willing to go public with the details yet.

For now, the only plans Wistaff said are ready to be announced involve renovations and additions near the mini-golf course. He confirmed that snow tubing, a pizzeria, casse-croute, and a tiki bar are ideas at various stages of development.

“We’re going to be doing a tube slide for a winter family activity,” he said, adding that they will be open in winter 2021.

The casse-croute will be built this fall, but there’s no timeline for creating the pizzeria, which is still an idea at this point, Wistaff explained.

“For the [tiki] bar, we want to have a big terrace area between the clubhouse and the mini-golf set up,” he said, adding that some of the terrace is already assembled, with the full opening slated for next year.

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