Double JJ undergoing  renaissance with  new ownership

Double JJ General Manager David Alvarez, left, Norm Halbower and Melissa Rood are part of the cultural renaissance going on at the ranch and resort.

ROTHBURY — A cultural renaissance has been started by the new owners at the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury.

The final hurdle for Antler Bar Amusements to assume full ownership was cleared in May when the timeline for former owners Progressive Resorts LLC to redeem the property expired per a court order issued late last year.

At the helm of Antler Bar Amusements is Chicago businessman and Whitehall native Matthew Halbower. While Matthew Halbower tends to his business interests in Chicago, his father, Norman Halbower, is overseeing the transition at the Double JJ.

“This is good for me,” said Norm Halbower, a retired attorney. “The reason it’s good for me is it makes me remember five things at a time.”

The biggest challenge facing the new ownership is changing the culture at the Double JJ, and the elder Halbower and the Double JJ staff have lots of plans. The first order of business, however, was to make improvements to the facility that had been neglected in recent years. 

“It’s a learning process,” Norm Halbower said. “We’re dealing with somewhat of a old culture.”

The Halbowers are on record as having poured millions into the facility since they first were awarded receivership last year. Norm Halbower said the necessary repairs have been made to the Gold Rush water park, the floors in the cabins at the Back 40 Resort, and the out-of-align shower doors have been adjusted. The tee on the eighth hole is being restored to it’s original location and new hardscaping, such as walkways and driveways to reduce dirt, are being installed. They’ve also begun using environmental friendly products for housekeeping.

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