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Mark C. Johnson Named 2016 Resort Facility Promoter of the Year

October 27, 2016

Mark C. Johnson of Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point, Minn. is the 2016 Resort Facility Promoter of the Year. The Facility Promoter of the Year Award praises a PGA Professional for outstanding contributions to their facility. These contributions include golf programs offered, tournament operations, merchandising, rules, promotion and facility history.

Criterion for the Facility Promoter(s) include: level of service to his or her Facility, Section and Association, leadership ability, contributions to building and growing golf, involvement in civic activities within the community and charitable causes and overall integrity and character.

mark-c-johnson-award

Mark has been at Breezy Point Resort for 19 years, serving as the Head PGA Professional and Director of Golf for the last 18 of those years. He oversees about 70 staff personnel in totality dependent on the season.

Under him, the resort has seen rounds increase from 32,000 to 50,000 annually on both the Traditional and Whitebirch courses. With the addition of Deacon’s Lodge, purchased by the resort in 2013, Breezy Point has added another 20,000 round annually, for a total of 70,000 on a yearly basis.

As part of a resort, golf can be used as a tool to increase guests that stay,”what people need to understand is that the golf course is just an amenity of the resort. We are selling a whole lot more than golf,” said Johnson.

“If the resort is full, the golf course is going to be full,” he added.

The resort and staff have become specialists at developing golf packages that cater to multiple demographics.  These include packages for all three courses and ones specific for each course. In total, Breezy Point offers nine different packages; one of them being an “all-inclusive” package—the most popular choice—that isn’t sold at any other resort in Minnesota.

Johnson has grown the membership from 14, when he took over, to a membership base of 120 despite its challenges; being a public facility, resort, timeshare, convention, golf package guest. It is not easy for retention.

Other highlights of his tenure at Breezy Point include his involvement with local high school teams. Mark opens the course to local teams such as Pequot Lakes and Brainerd and offers instruction to players when necessary. He is consistently involved with the Minnesota Junior PGA hosting two events yearly, one at Whitebirch and the other at the Traditional course.

His biggest achievement of all may be the Swanson’s Melanoma Open. Created 12 years ago by Johnson and the parents of a staff member who was diagnosed with Melanoma, this tournament was organized to raise money for cancer research. It is a double shotgun event each August that has raised more than $250,000 to date. As of 2012, the money raised has stayed in the local community as part of the Pay It Forward program.

Lastly, he is very active in the local Chamber of Commerce with Pequot Lakes, Nisswa and Brainerd, and is a member with the Brainerd Golf Trail.

Mark has had a dramatic impact on the Brainerd Lakes community and mostly his facility, Breezy Point Resort.

Congratulations and thank you for your services to the Section, Mark.

The Minnesota Section PGA consists of PGA Professionals who are experts in the game and business of golf. Our mission is to promote the enjoyment and involvement of the game of golf and to contribute to its growth by providing services to golf professionals, the golf industry, people who play golf or would like to start playing golf. PGA Section Offices oversee the 41 geographic regions throughout the United States and provide the grass-roots network for the nation’s 25 million amateur golfers and with the PGA’s 27,000 members.

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