WYOMING — The owner of an area mini-golf and arcade center slated for sheriff’s sale next month warned Wednesday that attempts to buy the property would be futile because he owns the land around it.
Rich’s Golf and Fun Center, which announced suddenly in March it would not open this season, is listed by the Luzerne County Sheriff for the June 3 mortgage foreclosure sale due to the more than $1.4 million in debts owed to the property’s lender, Frederick H. Rutzke Farms, Inc., real estate records show.
Unless the sale is halted by a court order or show of good cause, the nearly 22-acre property will be sold to the highest bidder, according to court documents filed in relation to the sale.
Attorney Michael G. Lewis, of West Chester law firm MacElree Harvey, said a minimum bid for the 905 Wyoming Ave. property was undetermined as of Wednesday. The firm expects to arrive at a figure in the coming days, he said.
A writ of execution on the foreclosure, filed March 15 in Luzerne County Court, shows deeded owners Robert and Mary Ceccoli owe $1,441,024 on the mortgage as well as an additional $15,000 in interest.
Records further show the owners owe $7,583 in delinquent 2015 school real estate taxes on one of the two parcels making up the 21.96-acre property.
Mary Ceccoli assumed sole ownership of the property, assessed at $506,000, after Robert Ceccoli passed away last year at the age of 90, records show.
The couple’s son, golf center owner Richard Ceccoli, announced in a recorded message on the business’s voice mail that the complex would not be open this season for “reasons beyond my control.” A sign bearing a similar explanation was placed on the business’ front doors.
Richard Ceccoli hung up on a reporter after initially declining to comment on the sale Wednesday, but called back moments later and stated the potential sale of the golf center is fruitless.
“There’s no public access to the property,” he said. “Victory Pig Pizza owns all the property around it and if you are standing on the property you will be arrested for trespassing or your car will be towed away.”
Richard Ceccoli said signs stating the same were posted in the business’ parking lot Wednesday. He said Victory Pig Pizza’s finances are in order and promised the nearly 75-year-old business will be around for another 75 years.
The seasonal golf center, which is located behind Victory Pig, had offered two 18-hole miniature golf courses, a multi-level driving range, bumper boats, batting cages and go-carts, according to its website. An arcade and cafe are located inside the business.
Asked if he had anything to say to the golf center’s patrons, Richard Ceccoli said, “It’s not done yet. Rich’s will be back.” He declined to elaborate on his statement.
“We’re not down for the count,” he said. “I won’t let the valley down.”