At its inaugural St. Charles County Economic Development Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, Aug. 10, the Economic Development Council (EDC) of St. Charles County honored local businesses that it has had the privilege of assisting.
The EDC was founded in 1990 with a goal to provide a one-stop approach to encouraging growth and development in the western part of metro St. Louis. In 1993, the EDC opened a 30,000-square-foot incubator to serve the burgeoning startup community in St. Charles County. This was expanded to 60,000 square feet in 1994.
Recognized at the luncheon were high-speed digital beverage can printer DigiCan Printing, exterior-remodeling company XteriorPRO, jewelry design company jBloom Designs, The Irish Gypsy Bar & Grill, Petropolis and Select O’Fallon.
David Hoffmann, chairman of the Hoffmann Family Of Companies, was the virtual keynote speaker and took the opportunity to announce a few new developments in the company’s plans for Augusta. Topping the list was a 12-hole golf course that will be built adjacent to the Balducci Winery, 6601 S. Missouri 94. Hoffmann purchased the winery as part of his initial investment in January 2021. Since then, he has refreshed the property with landscaping and paint. But bigger plans for the campus are planned.
In addition to the golf course, a 500-seat amphitheater is planned for the Balducci campus, Hoffmann said.
“We will be bringing in well-known musicians,” Hoffmann told luncheon attendees who packed the Water’s Edge banquet room in St. Peters. He ticked off names that included Gwen Stefani, Brad Paisley and Missouri native Sheryl Crow.
According to Hoffmann, construction on the amphitheater is to begin in late fall.
Of the golf course, Hoffmann said he expects it to grace the cover of Golf Digest and said that 12-hole courses are “the future of golf.” The course is to be designed by course architect Rees Jones, who is known as “The Open Doctor” for his redesign of courses in preparation for major championships.
Hoffmann also shared renderings of The Lodge, which will be built adjacent to the historic Knoernschild Vineyards, off Hwy. 94 between Jackson and Church streets. The company owns the vineyards The 5-star hotel will be designed by St. Louis architect firm Killeen Studios with construction to begin this fall. Estimated construction time is 1.5 years.
The Lodge will feature 53 rooms, seven suites, conference and meeting room space, wedding venue, spa, gym, yoga studio, indoor/outdoor pool, walking paths to town, lounge, restaurant, and more. Hoffmann estimates that 300 new jobs will be created through the operation of The Lodge and an 18-room luxury hotel to be developed on the Emmaus House campus in Marthasville.
Coming attractions that generated excitement from those gathered at the luncheon included rides in a tethered hot air balloon at The Lodge, which will offer views of Augusta Wine County; a zipline to be installed by a local designer over vineyards on the Montelle Winery hillside that was recently cleared of trees; and helicopter tours, which will require a conditional use permit (CUP) from St. Charles County. The CUP request is on the agenda for the Aug. 18 Planning and Zoning meeting at 7 p.m. at the County Executive Building, Third Floor Council Chambers, 100 N. Third St. in St. Charles.
During his keynote address, Hoffmann praised St. Charles County for being easy to work with and allowing the company to move quickly with its plans. He described the county as a “true partner” in the redevelopment of Augusta.