PINE MOUNTAIN, GA-The Ida Cason Callaway Foundation, the 52-year-old owner and operator of the secluded 14,000-acre Callaway Gardens corporate meeting place and vacation resort, has contracted with Atlanta-based Noble Management Group to provide a new look to the recreational enclave. Terms of the five-year contract weren’t disclosed.

Among the partners’ plans are the development of a 150-room hotel next to the existing 54,000-sf Southern Pine Conference Center. Noble president and CEO Mit Shah and Edward Callaway, Callaway Foundation chairman and CEO, are in talks for the hotel project, area brokers in a position to know tell

Callaway Gardens currently offers overnight guests a mix of 800 rooms at the Mountain Creek Inn and at cottages and villas on the Gardens’ grounds. Noble owns or operates 23 hotels under brands such as Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn and Hilton Garden Inn.

Last year’s economic downturn quashed the Foundation’s plans to develop a $30-million lodge and private golf club that would have included a 100-room lodge, a clubhouse with 24 condominium units and reconfigurations of the two champion golf courses.

The Foundation is also working with Atlanta-based Cousins Properties Inc. on Longleaf at Callaway Gardens, a residential development. Cousins paid $2.5 million, or $25,000 per acre (57 cents per sf), for a 100-acre development tract at Callaway Gardens.

“The world has changed in the 52 years since my family first opened the Gardens and we’re going to change to meet the needs of today’s visitors and future generations,” says Edward Callaway.

Callaway Gardens, located in the southernmost foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, has 70,000 sf of conference and meeting space; 10 dining venues; 16 retail outlets; a 12-court tennis center; two champion golf courses; and 13 lakes.

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