The Future of Bandon

Peter Sleeth offers the most in depth look I've read into Mike Keiser's future plans for Bandon.

The Chicago greeting card magnate who turned a stretch of isolated coastal dunes into one of the most highly rated golf complexes in the world has been quietly buying up nearly 1,000 more acres of land on the Southern Oregon coast, according to land records in Curry and Coos counties.

Michael Keiser also has taken the unusual step of helping finance a proposed 90-foot dam just two miles outside this coastal town -- an attempt to help local cranberry farmers flood their bogs, which will provide more capacity to an expanding Bandon and, potentially, to water new golf courses.


Keiser said last week that he is considering building at least one more golf course on his property south of Bandon -- in addition to the four, 18-hole courses he owns north of the city. Further, another golf course owned by a Eugene couple is under construction south of Bandon.

The rest of Keiser's land, including more than 300 acres on the Pistol River in Curry County, will mostly be used as conservation areas to preserve the beauty of the south Coast, he said. The multiple purchases range from 10 acres to 235 acres in Coos County, and are primarily farms.

The news of another golf course brings mixed feelings to local residents. With another course south of town, Bandon could easily become a new golf destination, "probably like no other place in the nation, or the world," Winkel said.


Keiser said he bought into a 15 percent share of the Johnson Creek dam out of both altruism and investment savvy. The cranberry farmers who first conceived the dam were short of the expected $9 million to $12 million the dam would cost.

"Water's the new resource everybody wants," Keiser said.

The story goes on to talk about some local opposition to the dam.