Mini Golf on Its Way to Lake Hopatcong’s Shores

By next summer, those who cruise Lake Hopatcong looking for lakefront entertainment will have one more option, in the form of a new miniature golf course on Nolan’s Point.

mini_golfThe yet-to-be-named course (though the leading contender is Putt Putt Park), being constructed just south of the Windlass and downhill of Alice’s restaurant, is part of a project that has been in the works for several years. “It really should be a great stopping point for folks,” said property manager Jim Bayle.

The space will include a marina that includes 37 boat slips (about half for restaurant and miniature golf parking, and half to be leased out for the summer), as well as a mixed-use service building, a new parking lot across Nolan’s Point Park Road, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

The full project is scheduled to be completed by next summer. The parking lot will likely be completed by the end of this summer, Bayle said, but the designs are still being worked out for the course and the building.  Once the ground is leveled, it should take several months to complete the construction.

Historical replicas of six or eight buildings from around the lake, including old hotels and estates, are slated to be part of the scenery. “That’s one aspect that I think will really make this project special,” Bayle said.

The project is owned by Camp Six, Inc., which also owns the Main Lake Market and—in the interest of full disclosure—this publication. Bayle is confident that the addition of the miniature golf course will be helpful for all of the restaurants on and around Nolan’s Point; the Windlass, Alice’s restaurant, and the Jefferson House are all within walking distance of the venue, and although the golf course might sell snacks and ice cream, he said it’s likely that visitors will link their trip to the putting course with a bite or a drink at one of the local eateries.

Bayle said the project met some resistance from neighbors, but moving the location of the course to the north edge of the property (away from homes and closer to the Windlass) and reducing the size of the building seem to have eased those complaints. And he said he expects most of the traffic to arrive by boat, raising hopes that there won’t be a significant surge in vehicle traffic on Nolan’s Point Park Road (the route of which which will actually be altered to accommodate the project). “We’re trying to do everything we can to make it neighbor-friendly,” Bayle said. “And we’re providing some much-needed parking for the businesses, too.”

So starting June 2011, families, couples, and groups of friends will have one more stopping point for lakeside entertainment—fittingly, in the space where turn-of-the-century visitors used to disembark from train cars and enjoy the Lake Hopatcong resort scene.

“I think this is going to give the people of Lake Hopatcong something really fun to do in the evenings, and it’s family-friendly, too,” Bayle said. “It’s part of what the lake is all about.”

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