After spending the majority of her life invested in Sandpiper Golf Course and the Pretty Estates Resort, Betty Anne Faulkner has announced her retirement, and new owners are taking over.
Faulkner’s connection with the area goes back several generations, as her grandparents built their homestead only two miles from where the estates now are.
“My grandfather came out west with 17 cents in his pocket,” Faulkner said. “Of course, 17 cents did get you somewhere in those days.”
Over time, Faulkner’s grandfather, and then her father, built what is now known as the Sandpiper Golf Course and Pretty Estates Resort.
And for a child, there was no better place to grow up than on the banks of the Harrison River, although it required some imagination at times.
“Living out here, you had to make your own fun and I never really lacked for anything,” Faulkner said. “I thought it was so pretty. I loved everything here as a child.”
Other than a few other families, including the Kilbys, the area was still mainly unsettled and this made making friends a difficult task.
“When I was growing up, there were hardly any children,” Faulkner explained. “There weren’t that many children at all and when we started school there was just a one room school and one teacher for grades one to eight.”
Eventually, the Pretty children decided to share their home with the public, and in June of 1995 the Pretty Estates Resort was officially open for business.
“We decided to turn the old home into an inn,” Faulkner said. “My brother wanted a golf course so that was implemented around that time as well.”
For Faulkner, the idea of having her childhood home flattened into a golf course was slightly disconcerting at first.
“I was a little concerned about all of the trees here being mowed down,” she said. “I sort of pictured all of them disappearing, but we had a very good golf architect and he did a very good job of carving it out of the woods, so to speak. It’s still very beautiful.”
Now, Faulkner made the decision to step down from her position as president of the estates and has sold the business to Canadian Aurora Investment Ltd.
Selling the estates to a non-relative wasn’t in Faulkner’s original plan for the property.
“I had always planned on keeping it in the family but sometimes these things just aren’t meant to be,” she said.
However, sometimes change is a good thing, too.
“The new owners have the financing to do the things I would have liked to have done,” Faulkner continued. “They’re going to make the place into a very nice resort. People love it the way it is, but I think the way they’ll do it will be in good taste.”
Even though Faulkner is stepping down from her position, she noted that she plans to stick around the estates for a little longer.
“This is where my heart is, really. I just love it here,” she said.