Massive Dome Near GLC Outlets … Coming Down

Posted by – Steve Cohen, Director of Community Development

Heads up!  The Auburn Hills skyline is about to change.

View of the now closed Great Lakes Golf & Sports Complex from I-75.

View of the now closed Great Lakes Golf & Sports Complex from I-75.

The massive inflatable dome located at the southwest corner of Great Lakes Crossing Drive and Joslyn Road at the now closed Great Lakes Golf & Sports Complex is expected to come down in the days to come.

The process to systematically take down the dome, demolish the metal structures inside, and clean up the site will take about one month to complete.  The dome is expected to be moved to a location in Minnesota.

The process to systematically take down the dome, demolish the metal structures inside, and clean up the site will take about one month to complete. The dome is expected to be moved to a location in Minnesota.

The development, originally called Mulligan’s Golf Center, opened in December 1999 at a cost of $7.1 million on top of a closed landfill.  It included the 90,000 sq. ft. dome, outdoor golf driving range, miniature golf course, and pro shop.  The business struggled financially from the start, but things got worse for the operation in February 2002 when strong winds caused a cable to snap and tear a seam in the fabric of the dome resulting in the collapse of the 90-foot tall structure with a reported 40 golfers inside at the time.  A new dome was erected one year later, but the business never recovered.

Entrepreneur Mike Ashley took over the operation in 2009 and made a great effort to bring the complex back to life.  But, even with an improved business model, he could not make it profitable.  Revenues generated just could not cover the costs to maintain the site and pay the taxes forcing the bank to close the business.

Now closed outdoor golf driving range overlooking the bulk of the closed landfill.

Now closed outdoor golf driving range overlooking the bulk of the closed landfill.

With the success of Great Lakes Crossing Outlets, we anticipate the Great Lakes Crossing Drive frontage of this former 115 acre landfill site will be redeveloped in the years to come.