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updated: 4/1/2013 7:54 AM

Constant evolution help Pheasant Run Resort hit 50-year mark

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  • Tim Foley, general manager at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

      Tim Foley, general manager at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

 

An interview with Tim Foley, general manager at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

Q: Pheasant Run Resort is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary this year. What is something that most people don't know about the resort and would find surprising?

A: The resort was built 50 years ago on a rather large dairy farm. The name Pheasant Run was created due to the abundance of the variety fowl that were located on the property. The resort originally started out with 184 guest rooms, a golf course and the first indoor/outdoor pool in the United States. Throughout the years it has grown and evolved to 473 guest rooms, an 18 hole golf course, live theater, a comedy club, three swimming pools, several restaurants and lounges and a replica of New Orleans Bourbon Street, which is located in the center of the resort.

Q: There have been a lot of changes in the industry since it first opened, how has Pheasant Run successfully weathered the storms?

A: Constant evolution. The most successful businesses know that you have to change and adjust to the times and market. Throughout the years, our resort has added and relaunched many new concepts and amenities. We have to stay competitive and to do so we must offer a superior product along with unique options that keep our guests coming back for more.

Q: Some performers at the theater have been, or later become, quite famous. Who is among the more notable actors who have passed through?

A: The first theater at Pheasant Run was called the Pheasant Run Playhouse opened in 1964. The first star to appear was Mimi Hines, a dancer on the Jack Parr show. Many people remember visiting the Playhouse in the 60s and 70s to see starts such as William Shatner, Phyllis Diller, Betty Grable, Bob Denver, Stephanie Powers and Larry Hagman. In 1988, the dinner theater turned to Broadway musicals and nurtured many stars including Sean Hayes, who was best known for the role of Jack in the popular TV series "Will and Grace." In the summer of 2002, the dinner theater underwent a $4.5 million transformation into a state-of-the-art 320 seat tiered stadium seating facility. It is now home to productions by the highly acclaimed Fox Valley Repertory.

Q: How do you see the resort growing and changing in the foreseeable future?

A: Our resort is all about flexibility and adaptability. We are constantly growing in an effort to modernize our product and services offered. While the resort has a strong historic presence locally and regionally, we stride to constantly introduce a modern product to current and new clientele in both the leisure and corporate market.

Q: With the resort turning 50 do you have some employees who have worked there since it opened?

A: Yes. Plenty. While our unique features within the resort are critical to what makes us a mainstay in the market, we believe our greatest attribute are our employees. It is amazing to see the commitment and passion our team brings every day. What is even more amazing is to see this passed down from generation to generation. We have grandparents, children and grandchildren that have worked here in various departments. We have had employees get married her, their children marry here and many people retire from here.

Q: What can we look forward to in the next 50 years from Pheasant Run Resort?

A: We look forward to the changes and modernizations that are coming soon. Some to speak of are Spa Vargas opening April 2013, the guest and meeting room modernization project to be completed this spring, opening of new retail shops on Bourbon Street and the relaunch of our health, fitness and golf membership. With all of these new and exciting changes we will always continue to embrace the culture and spirit that is Pheasant Run Resort. Something's will never change!

-- Kim Mikus

• Every Monday we feature a local suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact Kim Mikus at kmikus@dailyherald.com.

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