Former Loring Air Force Base golf course has a new owner

1 month ago

LIMESTONE, Maine — One of Limestone’s legacy businesses — a golf course that was  once part of the former Loring Air Force Base — has a new owner. And he wants all to feel welcome at the longtime club.

Joseph Allen of Presque Isle purchased the Limestone Country Club in February from former owner 4Birdies LLC and has since renamed the 9-hole golf course and restaurant Lime Rock Golf Club. 

Located just down the road from Loring Commerce Center, the country club has a long history in Limestone. Originally built as part of the base, the club reopened in 1997 as Inland Winds, which the Air Force and Loring Development Authority jointly managed. 

Renamed Limestone Country Club, the 115-acre property transitioned to private ownership in 2013 under Tin Cup LLC. It was then sold in 2020 to 4Birdies, a company owned by four area residents. Loring Development Authority and the Air Force no longer manage the property.

Allen, who also owns a construction company based in Presque Isle, reopened the golf course and restaurant as Lime Rock Golf Club May 13. He did not disclose the final purchase price.

Allen sees the golf club’s close proximity to Loring as a potential asset, especially as the complex becomes more attractive to new development.

“With all the new things coming to the [former Loring] base, we’re focusing on getting the course and restaurant better than they’ve ever been,” Allen said. 

The clubhouse at Lime Rock Golf Club, formerly Limestone Country Club, overlooks the start of a 9-hole golf course. (Melissa Lizotte | Aroostook Republican)

For Allen, that means helping more people realize that the “country club” is open to all golf enthusiasts, regardless of whether they belong to the club.

Since February, Allen has repaired turf on the golf course. Inside the clubhouse’s 75-seat restaurant, he added a new full service bar and “grab and go” section, as well as new walls and flooring.

The golf course and restaurant have always been open to the public, but last year the restaurant did not open in the winter. Allen plans to keep the restaurant open this winter, an ideal move given nearby local ATV and snowmobile trails, he said.

Allen eventually wants to build cabins around the clubhouse to attract the people who use those trails and other tourists. He has not yet decided how many cabins he might build or when that project might begin.

In the meantime, Lime Rock will expand the private events and catering services it offers, including wedding receptions and birthday parties, to attract more families and young people who want to learn how to golf and enjoy the restaurant, said Lime Rock Manager Alisa Brewer.

Allen and Brewer will soon be installing signage with the club’s new name and logo, which features a large rock near a golf course hole inspired by one that actually exists on the club’s green. The personal touch is part of their mission to make Lime Rock feel less like a traditional “country club.”

“We want this to be a laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere where people can relax and have fun,” Brewer said.