Some of the items that attracted the most interest from bidders were souvenirs from Weatherwax, including: golf hole flags, tables and chairs and picnic tables, according to auction organizers. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Auction at Weatherwax Golf Course attracts hundreds of bidders

Myron Bowling, owner of Myron Bowling Auctioneers Inc., said about 1,500 people braved the cold temperatures Saturday to bid on items from the golf course that closed this month and is expected to be sold today.

“Bad weather is good for a sale,” Bowling said Monday. “People think nobody will show up and everybody shows up. It was a very successful sale. It’s been that way for 40 years.”

He said every item sold, though he refused to say how much money was generated. He said most of the 125 golf carts were removed Sunday, and the rest would be gone Monday. He said the carts were sold to central Ohio golf courses and individuals.

Bowling said some of the items that attracted the “most interest” from bidders were souvenirs from the course: hole flags, tables and chairs and picnic tables, anything associated with the golf course.

Myron Bowling Auctioneers purchased the golf course two years ago from the City of Middletown for $1.6 million. Bowling leased the course for two years to Jim Kraft. The course closed Nov. 6.

When asked whether he was pleased with his investment, Bowling responded, “sure.”

The 450-acre, 36-hole golf course has been sold to MetroParks of Butler County for $2 million. MetroParks is purchasing the parcel of land from Trust for Public Land, a national non-profit whose mission is to create parks and protect land. TPL is buying the property from Bowling Auctioneers Inc. for an undisclosed price.

With the exception of $10,000 from MetroParks’ general fund, grants were secured to purchase the property to preserve the land for public access and use, said Kelly Barkley, MetroParks’ senior manager for community relations.

The parcel of land will be the Meadow Ridge Area of Elk Creek MetroPark, which also includes 352 acres at the Sebald Park Area, she said. With this addition, Elk Creek MetroPark will become the largest MetroPark in the county with more than 800 acres, she said.

She said the parks organization will seek input from residents on how to best use Elk Creek MetroPark. There will be two meetings that are open to the public. The meetings are set for 6 to 8 p.m. March 8 and June 7 at Central Connections, 3907 Central Ave.

The grant funding MetroParks will use to purchase the land is only for passive recreational purposes, and operating a golf course does not fit in that criteria, she said.