Our flagship conference center, Ridgecrest, is for sale trustees have decided.
Just 21 months ago I wrote on this site What’s the reason for the Ridgecrest renaissance? I’ve always been relatively close to Ridgecrest while living and serving in South Carolina and Georgia. I would estimate I’ve stayed there a couple of dozen times. My kids always enjoyed going there (“Indian Day Camp” back then; wonder if they got all politically correct and changed the name?).
Ridgecrest saw more attendees that year, 2018, than in a generation. Things were looking up. From the LifeWay Q&A:
Unlike our decision to sell Glorieta Conference Center, which was losing money on an annual basis and had significant deferred maintenance, the decision to sell Ridgecrest is more about our ability to ensure Ridgecrest’s future while investing in other areas of LifeWay’s ministry.
Ridgecrest was profitable. Guess it wasn’t all that profitable.
LifeWay had made significant investments in the place over the past ten years. Apparently, trustees were wary of the additional capital that the center would need going forward. I have a feeling that Southern Baptists are not aware of every relevant factor in LifeWay’s condition. I think their pension funding is under what would be considered healthy. What is LifeWay facing in the future that makes it wary of continuing to operate Ridgecrest?
This may be a slam dunk easy decision for the trustees. Let’s see some numbers, though, since we are the ones who have supported it for generations.
Let’s talk, brethren and sistren. Let’s have a national conversation about this rather than LifeWay trustees and leadership coming out of a closed meeting with a pronouncement. But, it’s their decision to make.
Yeah, I get that COVID-19 is a backbreaker for conference centers like Ridgecrest.
Ridgecrest, one more time was another of my articles on it. The last time I stayed there was last December when my wife and I went to Biltmore.
If agreeable, I’ll give LifeWay $1 for Ridgecrest. That’s what they got for Glorieta.