St. Charles mayor hopes to have answers soon into cause of Pheasant Run fire

St. Charles Mayor Lora Vitek hopes to have some answers soon into the cause of the fire that destroyed several buildings at the former Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles on May 21.

Security camera footage from nearby businesses is being looked at as part of the investigation, she said.

“We hope that within the next week or so, we will have at least some understanding what had happened at Pheasant Run,” Vitek said on Wednesday. “I know they’re working hard, and there’s police presence there 24 hours a day.”

Fencing has also been placed around the scene to deter trespassers. St. Charles Deputy Police Chief Erik Mahan previously said the department has no indication of squatters or people living on the property.

“There have been some instances of vandalism, such as broken windows, over the last year or so,” he said in an email. “Our officers regularly check the property during patrol shifts and the property owner has provided for private security patrols as well.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Office of the State Fire Marshall are working with the St. Charles police and fire departments to determine the cause of the fire.



Crews were able to save the 16-story tower on the property, along with a dairy barn that had housed a restaurant. A building that had housed a 320-seat amphitheater also was saved.

The iconic resort, which first opened in February 1963, closed in March 2020 after a failed attempt to auction the resort. GSI Family Investments of Arizona purchased the Pheasant Run Resort golf course from the DuPage Airport Authority for about $11.3 million and has proposed to build four industrial buildings encompassing more than 1 million square feet of space along with 13 acres of stormwater detention.

The 84.6-acre golf course is south of the former Pheasant Run Resort buildings, adjacent to DuPage Airport. McGrath Honda is redeveloping the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property.

There are no current plans to redevelop the resort property. The St. Charles City Council has voiced interest that a tax increment financing district be established on the former Pheasant Run Resort property in order to spur its redevelopment.

“Now it’s a matter of making sure that we work with the owners to get it safe and secure and cleared after the investigation is over,” Vitek said.

At the March 21 city council meeting, alderpersons approved an inducement resolution, which expresses the city’s intent to establish a TIF district and negotiate a redevelopment agreement that may provide for reimbursement from TIF revenue for TIF expenditures incurred by the developer, St. Charles Community Development Director Russell Colby said in a memo to alderpersons.


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