Alexandria Golf Club retooling after pro shop fire

A fire occurred at the Alexandria Golf Club in October of 2022 and damaged the merchandise. Now work is being do to restore the shop on the same ground, as work is also being done to the clubhouse

Pro shop 54.jpg
A rendering of what the exterior of the Alexandria Golf Club clubhouse (left) and the pro shop (right) will look like after repairs and upgrades are made this spring. A fire occurred in the pro shop in October 2022 and damaged merchandise, but the footprint of the building will remain the same.
Rendering provided by Alexandria Golf Club

ALEXANDRIA – The Alexandria Golf Club will be looking a little different starting this year.

The pro shop and the clubhouse will be resided and work is underway.

The process of reworking the pro shop was accelerated this past fall because of an electrical fire that started in the back and damaged the merchandise. The rebuilding will keep the footprint of the building the same.

"It started in the west side of the pro shop," AGC President Randy Johnson said. "We stored golf carts there throughout the years in the back, and they traced the fire to one of the golf carts' ignition systems or battery systems."

The fire was first reported around 7:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022. The club was first notified by a friend of a manager, who is a first responder.


The area where the fire started sustained damage, while the office and retail area suffered water and smoke damage.

"Everything was basically totaled from the insurance point of view," Johnson said. "They had a fire inspector, fire marshal, and the insurance company come out and go through everything. That took about a month or so to decide how the fire started and what the insurance cost was going to be.”

Johnson added that it's been a long and a bit tedious decision-making process but the insurance companies have helped the club through it.

“Zimny Insurance is handling our claim, and the company's insurance is through Secura. They've been very good to work with. They've been helpful, and many of our members are part of the team that's helping put this back together through their businesses."

This time of the year had the lowest level of inventory and was a week away from the club closing for the winter.

Because of the fast response time from the first responders, the pro shop can remain on the same ground and is scheduled to be open sometime this summer.

"We want to thank the firefighters and the police department – everybody that responded so quickly," Johnson said. "It wasn't a complete teardown even though we're replacing pretty much all the interior walls and the skin on the inside. Fortunately, no one was hurt.”

Johnson thanked the staff for being out there quickly after the fire happened and the amount of work they put into doing the inventory after the fire and getting everything cleaned out. “And a special thanks to Larry Novotny for everything that he's done, and without any of our membership volunteers, this wouldn't be possible."


Johnson said Servpro was “Johnny on the spot” with their work to help restore the pro shop.

"They cleaned everything out," Johnson said. "They're hiring the contractors to get everything done from trusses to electrical and other things like that."

The club is aiming to have the pro shop open on June 1. Meanwhile, the course will remain open when weather permits, with a temporary pro shop in the place in the northeast corner of the clubhouse.

In the rebuilding process, the club decided the best option would be to rebuild the pro shop in its current location.

"If we didn't do that, we would have to go through a lot of structural engineering plans and permitting, and it would have delayed us being able to build until this summer," Johnson said. "We're keeping the walls, we're redoing the roof line, and we're going back to the old style of clubhouse that was prevalent back when the club was started."

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This pro shop at Alexandria Golf Club in the 1940s (shown in this photo) has served as the inspiration for the rebuild of the current pro shop that is under repair after a fire happened that damaged the building but has allowed for the footprint to remain the same.
Contributed photo by Alexandria Golf Club

Before winter set in, a couple of the managers got inventory of everything that was destroyed.

The vice president of the club, Larry Novotny, said that the fire cost around $60,000-$80,000 in retail cost.

Novotny has been at the head of the rebuilding effort.


"After they determined what caused it, we couldn't do anything for a while since it was potentially a crime scene," Novotny said. "Once that was figured out, and they understood what started the fire, we could start assessing the damage. And so we brought in experts to see what had happened, how much damage there was to the pro shop, and what could be saved.”

Novotny said that pretty much everything in the interior and all the contents were damaged by either fire or smoke. “And so that all needed to be replaced, and then we found out that the entire roof would need to be replaced as well,” he said. “So once that was established, we started the process of getting drawings for the rebuild and just getting everything in place."

The valuation of the repairs and remodel from the fire, according to a City of Alexandria building report, is $614,409, most of which is covered by insurance.

Some of the members lost their clubs to the fire, but that is going to be covered by insurance.

Novotny said that everything had been pretty much decided in terms of what they were going to rebuild.

One of the things they decided to do was preserve the club's history, which was established in 1915, and give the exterior of the pro shop and the clubhouse itself a historic feel.

"It's important to us to honor that history because we are one of the oldest clubs in Minnesota and even west of the Mississippi River," Novotny said. "We want to pay tribute to how the pro shop used to look and at the same time, get some inspiration from some very classic golf courses around the country. So we presented the idea to C.I. Construction, who are members of the club, and they've been gracious enough to provide renderings based on their expertise and the look we wanted to go with."

The interior of the pro shop has been gutted, and the roof came off in early March. Novotny said two exterior walls needed to come down as well.


While this work is happening at the pro shop, the clubhouse is also getting resided.

"Believe it or not, we had it in our capital budget to reside the pro shop in the late winter or early spring, along with the clubhouse," Johnson said.

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This photo is a rendering of what the clubhouse (left) and pro shop (right) at the Alexandria Golf Club will look like after repairs to damage done by a fire at the pro shop and overall upgrades are made.
Rendering provided by Alexandria Golf Club

The clubhouse and pro shop will feature green and white colors.

"It's a difficult challenge because the clubhouse has a different shape to it than what the pro shop will have, yet we wanted to tie them together," Novotny said. "It will be a classic white and green look with cedar accents."

"Green and white are our basic colors and so we want go off of the new pergola that we did at the Centennial Plaza in front of the clubhouse," Johnson said. "That new plaza area has the wood beam, so we're going to bring in some nice colors to tie it all together. With this disaster, we're trying to make something happen and make it nice for the members and something that we all will be proud of. We want it to be more functional and bring up-to-date code, which has to be done with the wiring, plumbing, security system, etc."

The club leaders say the members and public are anxious to see what the clubhouse and pro shop will look like when it’s completed.

"As I started the process of going through this rebuild, I found out that the community, at least the people I'm dealing with, are very excited about it," Novotny said. "I guess I didn't realize the general consensus in the community is that the Alexandria Golf Club plays a big part in the community. When people heard that it was going to be rebuilt, there was a lot of excitement. It's really fun to see, and it's fun to see people step up and want to help in the rebuild process."

At AGC, the 102nd Resorters Tournament is set for July 30, 2023, through Aug. 5, 2023. Online registration opens on April 15, 2023.

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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