Hello friends and partners,
In January 2022 we celebrated the acquisition of our third site, New Life Ranch - Boulder Mountain (formerly Ozark Conference Center/Camp Solgohachia) in Solgohachia, Arkansas. For many years we heard from our ministry partners that they wanted to be able to have a retreat at New Life Ranch during the summer months, but because of our own summer programming that was not really possible. With NLR Boulder Mountain we had the vision of being able to offer that option to our partners, while allowing us even more opportunities to fulfill our mission of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping believers for ministry.
We knew from the beginning that we had our work cut out for us to get the property up to the standards our guests have grown to know and love about retreats at New Life Ranch. For the past 18 months we have worked on a master plan to increase capacity (from its current 120 beds to our goal of 500) and fix the existing infrastructure. We quickly determined it was going to cost 10’s of millions of dollars, and we would work to raise those funds over the course of the next 10 years. While that number seemed daunting, we were hopeful to begin to raise those funds and begin new construction within the first couple of years. We knew we needed to replace the dilapidated facility and increase capacity as quickly as possible, because we knew we needed more capacity fast to be able to generate enough revenue to be sustainable.
We began the silent phase of a capital campaign this past January and received a very generous matching donation in April, along with several other gifts. We met with an architectural firm and construction company with the hopes of beginning the first phase of construction as early as this fall. That meeting, however, did not go the way we expected. Our initial estimates during the master planning process were drastically under the reality of the recently inflated costs to build. The financial burden to the ministry was becoming far greater than we were prepared for and the donor support for a retreat only facility was not materializing.
We determined that the vast resources and attention required to make Boulder Mountain viable was going to hinder the rest of our ministry. The majority of future planning, maintenance, and improvements to the ministry of New Life Ranch at Frontier Cove and Flint Valley were being held back as a result of trying to start Boulder Mountain. It became clear that the level of investment needed would be detrimental to the entire organization.
Therefore, after much prayer and discussion, the New Life Ranch board determined that it is no longer feasible for us to continue operating NLR Boulder Mountain. The board unanimously voted . . .
- To cease operations at NLR Boulder Mountain (serve our last group in October)
- We do not see the property fitting in our strategic plan moving forward at this time
- We will prayerfully seek the Lord for how do we best steward this gift/asset
Please be in prayer for our staff at NLR Boulder Mountain, as this is understandably a difficult time for those three families. Please also be in prayer for the ministry of New Life Ranch as we navigate what’s next with this property and seek to steward this asset well.
Even though this was a hard decision, we are confident it’s the best decision for the ministry of New Life Ranch as we move forward. We are also confident and excited about the future of New Life Ranch and the many great things the Lord has in store for us as we go about accomplishing our mission of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ and equipping believers for ministry at NLR Frontier Cove & NLR Flint Valley through summer camp and retreats. Be on the lookout for upcoming news about some exciting opportunities we have coming.
In His grip,
Chief Executive Officer