Golf Resort thrives while giving Adams County's economy a much-needed boost

TOWN OF ROME — Sand Valley Golf Resort in central Wisconsin doesn’t look like most other top golf facilities. For one thing, there’s no ocean, no Great Lake, no picturesque body of water bordering its courses.

For another, it’s all sand — a sand barren, to be exact. About 15 miles from Wisconsin Rapids, the resort in Adams County sits on what was once a glacial lake and is now covered in natural sand dunes and huge stands of red pines left over from when the area was prime paper mill territory.

But perhaps the biggest difference is Sand Valley’s mission. In addition to creating a world-class golf resort, owner and developer Mike Keiser Sr. has created an operation that is lifting the area’s economy out of the doldrums.

Keiser’s son Michael, who oversees Sand Valley, says that was always part of the plan and that the benefits go both ways.

“This entire county is supporting us and lifting us up. We’re nothing without the people here. We have 500 employees, and most or all of them are from the community. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship, and we’re humbled by that. It’s an incredible privilege,” says Michael Keiser