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NJ golf course will be reopened, expanded under stewardship of historic winery owners

The owners of the 158-year-old Renault Winery Resort and Vineyard National Golf Course in Egg Harbor City have purchased an Ocean County golf course with the goal of reopening it later this year, the company announced Tuesday.

Sea Oaks Golf Resort — which is located in Little Egg Harbor Township and has been closed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — will reopen in June 2022, the owners of Renault, Accountable Equity, said in a statement.

It will reopen as a public course with a new name, the LBI National Golf & Resort, with future plans for a hotel, restaurants and wedding and event venues, the company said.

“We’re excited at the prospect of Sea Oaks Golf Resort becoming part of the VIVÂMEE Signature Collection,” said Josh McCallen, Accountable Equity founder and chief executive officer, of the $6.5 million acquisition. “We believe our blend of hospitality culture and development expertise puts us in a unique position to provide tremendous long-term dividends for Sea Oaks in the years to come as we grow.”

Barbara Balongue of Balongue Design Inc. has been commissioned to lead a $4.5M resort renovation, beginning immediately, including upgrades to guest rooms, entertainment spaces, bars and restaurants, Accountable Equity said.

The newly-renovated golf course will bring 25 to 50 jobs to Ocean County, with the potential to create an additional 175 jobs by next year, officials said.

Accountable Equity purchased Renault Winery in 2018 after the state historical site struggled financially and went into bankruptcy in 2013 and OceanFirst, a creditor, stepped in to run the sprawling facility until a new owner could be found.

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Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com.

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