When the Maple Grove Country Club was purchased in 2014, questions swirled.
Everyone wanted to know what Steven Nicolai would do with the 180-acre space in West Salem.
A press conference Thursday revealed he’s keeping the area clear. Nicolai has decided to leave the space vacant, allowing for camping, festivals, sporting events and more.
He said the space will eventually become a go-to location for all sorts of events and be a big economic boost to the local economy.
It used to be home for the Mississippi Valley Conference cross country championships. Nicolai hopes that tradition will continue.
“We carved in a (5-kilometer) cross country track that the high schools can use,” he said, “and hopefully this will become a use for all high schools, colleges — not just locally, but statewide.”
Along with the MVC race, the site will hold the first-ever Country Boom, a two-day country music festival in mid-July.