Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. – The Mission Inn Resort & Club is the culmination of the vision and dreams of Nick Beucher and his family, who have owned and operated the resort for more than 50 years. Beucher purchased what was then known as the Floridan Country Club, in 1964. But the story of Mission Inn starts nearly 50 years before that.
The 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, rich soil and excellent drainage, Howey envisioned investors buying parcels 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.
In 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, Nick Beucher, of Wilmette, Ill., began his sales career with the Morton Salt Company in Chicago's western suburbs. However, Beucher's successful sales career was derailed by a broken leg he suffered in a local rodeo. After recuperating, Beucher 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.
Twenty 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.
In the years that followed, Beucher's family joined the business and continues to own and operate the resort. Today, Beucher's children and grandchildren work at 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 Mission Inn Resort & Club is a secluded 1,100-acre Spanish Colonial resort featuring exceptional accommodations, golf, tennis, marina, dining, trap and skeet, conference, wedding and spa facilities located just 35 minutes northwest of Orlando in Howey-in- the-Hills, Florida. For more information visit www.missioninnresort.com or call 800-874-9053.