Northgate Resorts acquired a North Lawrence, Ohio resort in November, according to CantonRep.com.
Clay’s Park Resort is under new ownership. The family that has owned and operated the popular Northeast Ohio destination for the past 73 years has sold the 305-acre property to Northgate Resorts as part of a $23 million transaction.
Stark County Auditor Alan Harold said the land, buildings and other real estate were valued at $13.17 million in the deal.
The sale closed Nov. 4.
The seller is listed as John O. Clay Explorations. The buyer is listed as Northgate-Clay’s Park LLC JA Clays LLC.
It’s unclear if the new owners are planning any changes at the property, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. Clay’s Park offers and hosts major events such as the Yankee Peddler Festival, Warrior Dash 5K obstacle course, and music festivals and concerts like Country Fest.
Clay’s Park also has its own restaurant, John O’s; a campground; cabins; waterpark; and two large lakes for swimming, fishing and boating.
Clay family patriarch Otis Clay started the Clay’s Park resort in 1947. After his death in 1966, his sons Robert and John O. Clay took over the operation.
Lawrence Township Trustee Mike Stevens, who was a manager for Clay’s Park for more than 30 years until 2006, said since John O. Clay’s death in 2006, Clay’s five children all live out of state and are no longer managing the property on a day-to-basis. His widow, who is in her 90s, still lives in the area.
“The facility is a major piece of property in our township, and it’s a major employer in the summer months,” said Stevens, who owns property by the resort. “That’s a pristine piece of ground. You have 300-plus acres of infrastructure. A lot of it’s in place, roads, electrical, (sewage) treatment plant. If you were a developer and wanted to tap into something like that for a building purpose, you could in my mind.”