QUEENSBURY — Things are looking bright for Sunnyside Par 3.
Co-owner Whitney Russell and his son Garrett bought the business in February. They took the facilities down to the studs and put in new insulation, renovated the bathrooms, opened up the banquet room with cathedral ceilings, added new lighting and installed a post-and-beam frame.
They are in the process of finishing installation of new siding on the clubhouse.
They spent about two months of renovation, according to Whitney Russell.
“It needed a facelift,” he said.
The Russells co-own StoriedBoards, which recycles wood from old barns into new products, in Chester and were looking for another opportunity, Russell said.
“We’re looking to diversify a little bit,” he said. “My oldest son and his girlfriend have a restaurant in Saratoga, so it just all fit.”
He kept on all the employees at Sunnyside, which include four bartenders, three kitchen workers, two golf groundskeepers and a part-time person. They put some extra staff members on the golf course to improve the greens.
“The course looks fantastic,” he said.
The business also upgraded the menu, while keeping the original pizza.
“We added in a bunch of seating, new windows that look out over the golf course,” Russell said.
The new owners also put in new beer coolers and removed a large one that blocked some of the windows.
A new stage area has been added for live music every Friday night, and a liquor license was obtained for an outdoor bar.
Russell estimated that they have invested over $100,000 in renovation and labor costs.
More improvements are planned for next year, he said. The business is going to seek town approvals to make a wood pavilion on the patio. They also plan to do work around the pond to remove some of the growth.
Patrick Turley, who has been a caddy on the PGA and LGPA tours, is teaching golf lessons. Turley is a Queensbury native who returned to the area to care for his parents. He said this job was a perfect fit for him.
Turley sees par 3 courses as becoming more popular because people do not have the time to play a four-hour round of golf, but can play a 9-hole course in about an hour and a half.
Russell said they are promoting children’s lessons as well as nighttime golf because it is a lighted course.
“We want to kick that off with a night tournament, with the hope of developing it into a night league,” he said.
The Sunnyside course has the Play for Ray fundraiser coming up on July 17, from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The event benefits the Alzheimer’s Association and honors Ray Jett, a longtime resident, businessman and musician who died in 2013 after battling Alzheimer’s disease.
Russell said the response to the improvements has been amazing.
“Everybody loves the place. It’s got a very, very constant regular crowd,” he said. “One of our big concerns was not to push them out. With the menu changes and the remodeling, it’s brought a lot of new people in.”