New life for Naples mini-golf in the hands of family buyers


It was a bit of a detour for a Falmouth investor who has focused on self-storage properties in recent years.

But buying a miniature golf course in Naples has been great fun for husband and wife buyers and their children.

Michael and Silvana Pride bought the Steamboat Landing Mini Golf at 15 Steamboat Landing Road from Richard and Phillipa Cebra for $ 510,000.

Thomas Gadbois and David Jones of FO Bailey Real Estate negotiated the deal.

The property includes an 18 hole mini golf course and a 3,500 square foot home with one apartment.

Steamboat Landing Road is just off Route 114, which leads to Sebago Lake, a popular tourist destination.

Maine-themed holes, set against a backdrop of forests and flower gardens, include depictions of a New England covered bridge, lighthouses, a black bear, and a running-water flourmill .

Courtesy mini-golf / Steamboat Landing

A sailor, a covered bridge, plantations and woods are some of the features of the Steamboat Landing Mini-Golf in Naples.

“I looked at the list and thought it would be perfect for Mike,” said Gadbois, who has represented the pride in other deals. “It’s a pretty unique property. He made the offer immediately. They also had other offers. But he offered above the demand and he got the deal.

The list price was $ 499,000.

The property was contracted out on the second day after the announcement, he added.

Co-seller Richard Cebra is a member of the Maine House of Representatives for the 68e District.

Family business

“It sounded interesting,” Pride recalls from his conversation with Gadbois. “He had just listed it and had a bunch of showings for the weekend.”

Pride is a former merchant navy who entered the self-storage business several years ago and earlier this year inaugurated an 80,000 square foot self-storage development in the neighborhood of innovation from the Downs to Scarborough.

The course is near Brandy Pond, where the Prides, as members of the Freedom Boat Club, have access to a number of boats and like to take their children there.

So Pride decided the property was worth a look: the course was an exciting opportunity and the house could be the family’s summer home.

“Normally we’re not second residents, but this one was interesting,” he said. “So I went up and I said, ‘Boy, there’s a lot of stuff on this property. It’s been around 42 years, and you know, if something’s been 42 years, something’s going on. So that interested me. “

Pride also saw it as a possible family business. Summer was coming when he visited the property and his 14-year-old daughter had started looking for summer employment. His children are not particularly interested in his other businesses, which include the development of self-storage properties and commercial buildings.

“In my mind, I was like, ‘How do I get these kids to buy into what I’m doing?’ “, he said. “So I called my wife and said, ‘Come see this. “”

The pride also thought of the family experience of last year.

“The children had been locked in the house for a year,” he said. “And in the summer, they would have continued to sit a lot, waiting for us to get out of work.”

A plan was made to move to the Naples home for the summer and let Silvana and the kids run the business until Labor Day weekend, when the class ended and the family returned to their home. house all year round.

“The next morning my daughter said, ‘Daddy, we have to do this,’” he said. “So we called her mother and convinced her.”

Regular customers

The course belonged to the Cebras for about 20 years, Pride said.

“A lot of people have been golfing there for 42 years,” he said. “You will see that at least 75% are repeat offenders, who have come since they were children and now they are grandparents. “

The Prides moved in on July 2. It was a rainy weekend and they thought they were going to go into operations.

Instead, they immediately realized that they had bought a business with existing customers.

“Cars started to come and people wanted to play golf,” he said. “That first day, we had 150 people and we were like, ‘Oh my God, this is real. “”

His wife Silvana, 14-year-old daughter Sofia and 8-year-old twins Emma and Mason ran the operation all summer. The course saw over 300 clients on busy days.

“It was a great first season for us and we are grateful for the opportunity to keep this Maine icon open for its 42nd summer season,” said Pride. “And we are looking forward to its 43rd” year.

With an audience already in place, the family has launched a Facebook page for the operation and plans to update the original website.

“We have already started making friendships with customers,” he continued. “It’s such an important part of their summer fun. We have camps that come with 40 children. My daughter was doing the introductions and doing the sales over the phone, and they would introduce themselves and she would show them what to do.

For Pride, “Real estate is fun no matter what. This one must be fun for the whole family.

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