|By Judy Newman, The Wisconsin State
JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
December 08, 2010--Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan, now owned by AnchorBank of Madison, has closed. Tuesday was the final day for the historic resort, which has been welcoming vacationers since 1878.
The resort posted this note on its website and on its Facebook page: "On behalf of the associates of Lake Lawn Resort, we regretfully are announcing that Lake Lawn Resort will be closing its doors, effective Tuesday, December 7, 2010. We thank all of our past guests for your continued support and loyalty."
Calls to the resort on Wednesday were not answered.
Dozens of former Lake Lawn customers, employees and Delavan-area residents posted farewell messages, memories and photos on the resort's Facebook page, including Lisa Flynn-Kearns, of McHenry, Ill.
Flynn-Kearns grew up in Chicago and her family has had a cottage across the lake from Lake Lawn since the 1970s. "We would take the boat from our house and spend the night there. In the winter, we would rent rooms and snowmobile over there," she said in an interview.
Winters at Lake Lawn were special times, with ice skating and a toboggan that would shoot sleds onto the ice-covered lake "and we would slide for miles, it seemed as a kid," Flynn-Kearns said. "It's such a family gathering place, that just brings a lot of families back together and reconnected."
Anchor submitted a $19.97 million proposal to buy the resort at a Walworth County sheriff's auction in October. The Madison bank had filed a foreclosure action against Lake Lawn in 2009 saying the resort defaulted on a $51.9 million loan.
In a notice to the state of Wisconsin in October, Lake Lawn said the closure would end the jobs of 126 employees, 110 part-time workers and 50 seasonal employees.
AnchorBank is "actively marketing" the resort in search of a buyer, said Anchor first vice president-marketing Christopher Schell.
"We have engaged CB Richard Ellis Group to market the property and we are hopeful for a resolution at the earliest possible time, however we cannot comment as to the current status on any prospects for the property," Schell said. He said a small number of employees has been kept to maintain the 250-acre property along Delavan Lake, about 60 miles southeast of Madison.
"It's really sad that it's closing," Flynn-Kearns said. "It's going to put quite a damper on the town itself."
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