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By KEVIN KOELLING
CANNELTON – Cannelton’s Planning Commission approved July 24 a special-use permit for a miniature-golf course at the site of the former Sunlight Hotel.
Commission member Philip Ball said he had received no objections and “all I’ve heard are positive comments from the public” about the proposed use.
The proposal is now reality, as Putt-Nutt Golf is open 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4 until midnight Friday and Saturday at 111 Washington St. in Cannelton.
The hotel was demolished in 2008 after it deteriorated into a dangerous condition despite a plan to renovate the historic structure.
“What he’s proposing is putting this out as a portable unit during summer months, and he’s going to remove it, he said depending on how the weather goes, probably in September,” Ball explained of the plan by Dave Beertzer. The course would reappear the following summer and initially features nine movable holes that could expand to 18 in the future, he added.
That expansion is set for next summer, Beertzer said Wednesday. In opening the course, he hoped to provide a family-oriented entertainment venue accessible to people in wheelchairs, he explained.
Beertzer rents the property from John Paulin, who “has long-range plans for the property,” the mini-golf operator said. “We made everything portable so when he decides to build, we can move somewhere else.”
While he still has control over the site, Beertzer also has plans.
“I would love, if I can get enough people interested, to add a farmers market,” he said. Hovercraft rides could also be added next year, as could a graffiti wall. He’s a truck driver and has seen some “beautiful” artwork in his travels, he said, but it’s often considered damage to the walls it adorns. He’s thinking about providing plywood sheets people could use to display their artistic talent for 30 days at a time “as long as there’s no profanity or something insulting.”
“The idea popped into my head when a friend was cleaning the floodwall,” Beertzer said.
A round of mini-golf costs $5 per adult, and $2.50 per child under 12, with those 6 and younger playing free. A family rate caps the cost at $15 for up to six people, the entrepreneur said, with $1 per person over that number.