Development is proceeding apace in Augusta as investor David Hoffman moves forward with his plans to transform the small town into a major tourist destination. Luxury hotels, a riverboat cruise, a golf course, and—of course—wineries are all part of a plan to create a Napa Valley like experience in the Midwest.
Hoffman’s company, the Hoffman Family of Companies, has a $100 million plan to make this dream a reality. He already owns five wineries in the Augusta region, together with a number of buildings downtown, and many acres of land throughout the region. Currently, the next phase of the plan is to construct a Championship golf course at one of the wineries, Balducci Vineyards.
Several of these operations, such as an emporium selling different wines and confections, are already up and running. Hoffman recently shipped 60,000 bottles of the local wines to Florida as well.
Work has begun on one of the two luxury hotels Hoffman has planned for the region. Construction on the golf course and an accompanying 500-seat amphitheater is set to begin pending approval by St. Charles County.
There has been a mix of enthusiasm and pushback from Augusta locals. Although Hoffman is certainly bringing a lot of money and potential jobs to the region, the lightning pace has also sparked some concerns. For instance, Hoffman’s plans to install a private helipad at one of the hotels were nixed after local residents complained.