Bearcreek Farms is closing

    Bearcreek Farms has announced that this will be the final year it will be in operation.
    In addition, notable changes are planned for 2013, it was stated in a news release.
    The property will only be open to the public when there are scheduled events, the announcement said. Such events will include a limited number of concerts and reservations for retreats, private events and conventions. The scheduled concerts will be released yet this month. 
    In addition to the concerts, Bearcreek will offer packages that include meals and lodging, the latter with limited housekeeping services. The reservation office will be available limited hours, which will be announced yet this month.
    Meanwhile, the Buddy Rewards program has been discontinued.
    More details on the 2013 season will be coming as plans are finalized, it was noted.
    "We hope you will be able to come visit this year and we host you, our special guests, during our final season," a Bearcreek spokesperson said.
    Bearcreek Farms, located near Bryant in Jay County, has been a family owned and operated business since 1975. Owner Don Strong envisioned a destination where family and friends could escape the day-to-day hectic schedules and find a down-to-earth escape offering good food and a little entertainment, the news release said.
    For the past few years, the Strong family has discussed the possibility of closing the facility because the property has had large financial losses, according to the announcement.
    "Several ideas have been tried and cuts have been made to try and control expenses, but the losses continued," the spokesperson said. "The property, customers and staff are very dear to the family’s heart, so it’s made the decision even more difficult.  But with the changes taking place in our government, especially regarding health care insurance, and other economic challenges on the horizon, the family has decided that 2013 will be the last year for operating Bearcreek Farms as a country destination (resort)."    
    Over the 35 some years, Bearcreek Farms has tried many adventures, in hopes of increasing the customer base in order to help cover the rising costs to operate such a facility, the news release said. "During these 35 some years, Bearcreek Farms was Don’s hobby, an escape for himself, where he could envision ideas, build things, raise animals and be a farmer," the news release said.
    The sister company, Richards Restaurants, was the financial backbone for Bearcreek Farms the news release said. "Both catered to cost-conscious customers and Richards Restaurants has always been able to supply its customer base with a quality hot meal at a reasonable price. Bearcreek Farms, on the other hand, has had to close the doors on some adventures and raise prices at times, in order to keep the facility open," according to the news release.
    The news release said the family has also been working with colleges, not-for-profit organizations and other venues in hopes of finding a perfect fit for the farm with one of these institutions, and the family will continue to look outside the box for the future of Bearcreek Farms property, in hopes of finding a buyer or partner.