CARLTON – A business that has been owned by the Ricci family for 40 years is in the process of being sold.
Dan and Sarah Ricci are selling Ricci Meadows to Andy Young, who used to run a roofing company in Albion. Young retired from the roof work in 2015. He has been eager to get involved in another business.
He was considering farming. In fact, he was eyeing the golf course on Route 98 for farmland. But he said the Riccis worked very hard on the property since they became the owners in 1978.
“I see decades of hard work out there,” Young said the golf course today.
He was joined today in the clubhouse by Dan and Sarah Ricci. Dan’s father Peter bought the business in 1978 as a 9-hole course. Dan became the owner in 1992.
The Riccis expanded the course to 18 holes in 1986 and added a clubhouse, maintenance shop and numerous other improvements over the years.
They serve dinners and alcohol in the clubhouse, as well as selling Quick Draw lottery tickets.
Young will change the name of the golf course to Carlton Meadows.
“It has a nice ring to it,” Mr. Ricci said.
“And it lets people know where it is,” Young said.
Mrs. Ricci intends to stay on this year helping to run the clubhouse. Mr. Ricci also will be available to help Young with the transition.
Young has already purchased new mowers and tractors, and will have 20 new golf carts available for the upcoming season.
Mr. Ricci said he is pleased the site will remain a golf course. It opened as a 9-hole course in 1953.
“It’s a fun business,” Mr. Ricci said. “I hope Andy has as much fun as we did.”
Before joining his father at the golf course, Mr. Ricci sold tires and worked on cars at Ricci Tire. He did that for 10 years. Many of the customers in that business were grumpy because there were problems with their car. Some had been in accidents.
But at the golf course, people are in a good mood. Occasionally, he would find discarded golf clubs on the course when people reacted to a bad shot. But a bad shot is often followed up with a good shot, and those shots can improve a mood.
“People come here for a fun time,” he said.
Young has his first day today as operator of the site. He also had his first golfers of the year today with temperatures in the mid-40s and the sun shining.
The site has customers throughout the year. Snowmobilers stop by during the winter, and the clubhouse also is used for dinners, receptions and parties.
Mrs. Ricci planned much of the landscaping and gardening on the property over the years, picking different types of trees and also putting in many planted beds.
She said she met so many friendly people through the years at Ricci Meadows.
“This has been our life,” Dan said.
“We’ve made so many friends,” Sarah said.