PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. (WRBL) – Callaway Resort and Gardens has announced that Herschend Enterprises has assumed ownership of the Callaway Resort assets. The Callaway Foundation is expanding its relationship with the nation’s largest family-owned themed attractions and entertainment company. 

Sonny Horton, the Vice President and General Manager of Callaway Resort and Gardens, said both organizations will continue working very closely together. The decision to expand came as the organizations reached the end of their original two-year agreement during which Herschend managed Callaway Resort and Gardens. 

“It just seemed like the perfect timing. We just completed a two-year partnership in terms of management and an operating agreement and we just felt like it was an opportunity. The Foundation needed a future plan and we felt like we are the best partner for this,” said Horton.

According to Horton, Herschend will acquire ownership of the lodge, spa, golf courses, beach area and conference center. The entertainment company will lease and manage Virginia Hand Callaway Discovery Center, Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, Ida Cason Memorial Chapel and gardens from the Callaway Foundation. 

Horton said the Foundation will have another source of revenue with Herschend assuming ownership of the resort assets. The increased revenue will allow them to make improvements to their facilities like the discovery center and butterfly center. 

Callaway visitors can expect to see many improvements in the upcoming years with this partnership. Some of the areas that will be renovated are the butterfly center and all of the lodge rooms. However, Horton said they will still be on brand in accordance to the Callaway brand. 

The partnership between both companies has led to popular community events like “Pumpkins at Callaway”. Horton said community members can expect to see more additions this year at the popular fall attraction and the winter attraction, “Fantasy in Lights”. Horton said Pumpkins at Callaway made a major increase in tourism in the area. Local businesses experienced an increase of 30% or more during September and October last year. 

“Good news for Callaway it’s a win/win and I think the guests that have loved it in the past and members who are enjoying it will be excited about the future,” said Horton. 

Horton said with the expansion of the partnership, Callaway is looking to hire 200 more employees. There are all kinds of positions available including full-time, part-time and seasonal. Benefits will include free tuition for higher education and funds that will be allocated for hardships employees may be facing along with many others.