Summit Lake Winery to close after foreclosure

The Summit Lake Winery in Holts Summit is closing after after undergoing foreclosure proceedings on Friday. Events scheduled during the weekend, including a class reunion and a wedding, were permitted to occur but the Callaway County business is scheduled to be closed Monday.

The Summit Lake Winery in Holts Summit is closing after after undergoing foreclosure proceedings on Friday. Events scheduled during the weekend, including a class reunion and a wedding, were permitted to occur but the Callaway County business is scheduled to be closed Monday. Photo by Don Norfleet.

Summit Lake Winery in Holts Summit is scheduled to close its doors at the end of business on Sunday night after foreclosure proceedings changed ownership of the property.

Sterling Scott, a Realtor with Sperry Van Ness, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) Advisors of Kansas City, said he represents the new owners of the property.

Scott said the group of investors he represents holds the note on the property. The Van Ness International Corporation is one of the largest commercial real estate franchises in the world. It has franchisees in three nations, 38 states and 153 markets.

“I have had inquiries from a half dozen people today. I don’t yet even know the value of the property or how much to ask for it. I am evaluating it now,” Scott said Friday afternoon.

Scott said Summit Lake Winery will be closed on Monday and isn’t likely to reopen until after someone either buys or leases the property.

“This is a great location. It is situated on 15 acres and has a 3,500 square-foot building. This business was doing fine,” Scott said.

Scott said he would like to avoid a disruption of business as much as possible by either selling or leasing the property as soon as a deal can be reached. “Anyone interested can call our real estate firm in Kansas City at 913-677-3400,” Scott said.

Summit Lake Owner John Ferrier said the winery business building loan was with Premier Bank, which eventually became insolvent.

“The FDIC came in and put all the notes the bank had up for sale, including ours,” Ferrier said. “We had thought we had a group together to buy the place back, but CRE outbid us. We begged them to allow us to stay open this weekend because we had two weddings and several other events scheduled. They allowed us to do so.”

Ferrier said the winery had been feeling the effects of the bad economy as far back as 2007.

“Costs began to rise for food and gas,” he said. “This summer was especially bad for us. We advertise ourselves as an outdoor venue and the weather was just too hot for people to sit outside.”

Sue Kauffman, a cook at the winery’s restaurant, she has worked at the winery for the last one and one-half years. She also worked at the winery briefly when it opened about 10 years ago.

On Friday, the home page of the winery’s website, summitlakewinery.com, had a photograph of the winery with this notation under it:

“R.I.P., February 1, 2002-September 20, 2012.”

Later in the day — after Ferrier was allowed to keep the winery open through Sunday for events scheduled during the weekend — the notation on the website changed the closing date from Sept. 20, to Sept. 23.

Reporter Jeff Haldiman also contributed to this article.

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