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History of Mission Inn

Nearly 50 years ago, Mission Inn Resort & Club was nothing more than a vision and dream in the mind of Nick Beucher, a mid-western businessman with a sense of adventure. In 1964, he purchased what was then known as the Floridan Country Club. But for the full story we need to travel back in time nearly 100 years when citrus groves covered Central Florida and cowboys roamed Mexico.

Nick BeucherThe resort traces its history back to 1916, when William J. Howey purchased 60,000 acres of real estate in Central Florida, with the intent of creating the largest horticultural empire in the world. With an ideal climate and rich soil, Howey envisioned investors buying acreage from him and then contracting with his company to clear the land, plant citrus trees, harvest and ship the fruit. Howey would then return the profits to the owners.

In order to boost sales and create incentive for additional growth, Howey set out to build a golf course to complement his inn. In 1917, Chicago's George O'Neil was hired to design the course and soon after the Florida Chain-o-Lakes Country Club opened. Boasting rare tee to green elevations of 85 feet, towering forests, and sparkling spring-fed lakes the course was widely acclaimed as Florida's finest.

Originally the Floridian Country ClubIn the mid 1920's the course was enhanced. However, soon after the stock market crashed, the Great Depression ensued, and one of the worst freezes in Florida history combined to end Howey's dreams of a citrus empire.

Meanwhile in 1936, Illinois native Nick Beucher began his sales career with the Morton Salt Company in Chicago's western suburbs. Beucher was named top salesman of the year four years running, but his career was interrupted when he broke his leg in a local rodeo. After recuperating, he decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of riding across Mexico on horseback. In 1939, at the age of 21, Nick and a friend saddled up and spent 39 days riding nearly 1,400 miles.

Mission Inn Resort in 1971Twenty five years later, Beucher was a husband, father, and successful businessman buying and selling cattle by-products, including meat and hides. In 1964, he saw an ad in the Wall Street Journal and bought what was then known as the Floridan Country Club in Howey-in-the-Hills. Both the course and clubhouse were badly neglected and in need of repairs.

In 1969, after renovating the golf course and clubhouse, Beucher turned his sights toward creating a new resort. He drew upon his time in Mexico and was inspired to create the resort in the image of the Spanish Colonial architecture he saw and was so fond of.

Through the years, the resort has expanded to include a second golf course, fresh-water fishing, full-service spa, three restaurants and 30,000 square feet of group space for meetings, weddings and special events.

Beucher's family joined the business, and today his children and grandchildren own the resort, greeting guests to welcome them to their home away from home. The Mission Inn Resort & Club is a direct reflection of the vision and tireless effort of the Beucher family and the resort's dedicated employees.

The Beucher and Mission Inn family invite your family to join them for a memorable experience.

Getting to Mission Inn

Resort Location
Mission Inn Resort & Club is located at the center or Crossroads of Florida, 35 minutes northwest of Orlando and area attractions in the rare, gentle hills of Lake County. Equidistant from the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, Mission Inn is easily accessible to major highways and interstates. This area is considered the central highlands of the state and has long been noted for its scenic beauty, relatively mild climate, and as one of the world's major vacation destinations.

Directions to Mission Inn Resort


Orlando International Airport
42 miles - 45 minutes

Leesburg Municipal Airport
12 miles - 15 minutes

Lake County, Florida
Lake County is a boater's dream with 1,400 lakes covering 202 square miles. Lake Harris alone is a 13,788 acre freshwater lake and, through a network of locks, canals and lakes, provides boaters with access to the Atlantic Ocean.

Mission Inn is nestled near the shores of beautiful Lake Harris in the quiet town of Howey-in-the-Hills, population 1,000. The average elevation of the area is 72 feet above sea level with the surrounding terrain varying from 53 to 192 feet above sea level.

Directions To Mission Inn

Directions From Mission Inn

Mission Inn Resort Activities

Marina Del Rey Fitness Center Mission Inn Tennis
Trap & Skeet Range   Trails of the Conquistadors

Orlando Tennis Tournaments

Justine Henin TennisWith eight courts available, we welcome outings and tournaments of all types. Whether for corporate or charity, church outings or family reunions, our staff can assist you in planning your special day of tennis. With your choice of har-tru or clay courts, our staff is available to help you every step of the way. Need rental racquets..we have them. Tournament prizes..let us know so that we can have them personalized and on hand for your event. Or simply provide a Mission Inn Gift Certificate to the winners....always a great idea since our tennis pro shop has something for everyone including private lessons, equipment and apparel for children, ladies and men.

Not planning a tournament, but you'd like to play in one, or be a spectator?

Check out our schedule of upcoming tournaments and join us at Mission Inn!

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