Site Sold As Rothbury Opens

The sale of the Double JJ Ranch & Resort in southwestern Michigan to an investment group has been finalized, just two days before the gates open to the second annual Rothbury music festival at the site.

The new owner is Progressive Resorts, an affiliate of Erie, Pa.-based American Resort Management. The company has said it wants to restore the more than 1,200-acre Double JJ to a functioning guest ranch in the next few weeks and rehire hundreds of ranch employees.

The property fell into Chapter 11 bankruptcy shortly after, and unrelated to, last year’s inaugural Rothbury. Organizers Madison House and AEG Live said at the time the bankruptcy wasn’t expected to impact plans for a return of the festival.

A spokeswoman for Madison House was unavailable to comment immediately, but Dave Distel, managing director of turnaround and financial consulting firm O’Keefe and Associates, credited Rothbury for making it possible to preserve the property in one piece. O’Keefe and Associates handled the sale of the resort.

“Convincing the Rothbury Music Festival to stay with the resort during the hardship of Chapter 11 was a major accomplishment for the Double JJ,” Distel said in a statement.

“If the resort had been sold in pieces or if it had become insolvent while attempting to reorganize, I don’t believe there would have been a future for the festival or so many ranch employees. Keeping Double JJ cash flow positive and preserving the integrity of the property was no small challenge – including care for the ranch’s more than 150 horses, sled dogs and cattle.

“We had to be creative and had to fight to keep the property from being split up,” Distel said.

The Double JJ Ranch includes a 60,000-square-foot indoor water park, outdoor water features, an 18-hole championship golf course, family entertainment center, restaurants, camping and other outdoor activities.

This year’s Rothbury Festival July 2-5 includes The Dead, Bob Dylan, String Cheese Incident and Willie Nelson.