Rice announced the project in the main lodge of the ski resort, which is in its seventh season. The addition of the golf course will make the resort a year-round facility that will bring "hundreds of thousands of tax dollars to Montgomery Township and to the Tuscarora School District," Rice said.
Whitetail Ski Resort and Mountain Biking Center, as it is officially called, brings in about $75,000 a year in tax money to the two jurisdictions, he said.
Whitetail operates with about 40 full-time, year-round workers and about 900 part-timers in the peak ski season, he said.
The golf course will add another 30 to 50 full-time jobs, he said. Many part-time employees will be able to move into full-time positions when the golf course opens, he said.
Altogether, including the 500 golf course homes, Whitetail has more than 1,700 homes either built and sold, under construction or on the drawing board, Rice said.
They include 48 homes built in the Trailside Development on Whitetail Mountain, 30 of which are built. Prices range from $179,000 to $290,000, Rice said.
Another 112 townhouses selling in the $120,000 range will be built in the new Blair's Ridge development.
A yet-to-be-announced 68-unit townhouse development also is in the works, Rice said. Residences there will sell from $79,000 for studio units up to $145,000 for larger apartments.
Whitetail will build the golf course on 350 acres about one mile north of the ski resort on Blairs Valley Road. Dairy farmers Marcus Martin and Chester Martin sold Whitetail their 100-acre farm to add to the 250 acres the resort already owns.
Chester Martin said he and his brother will buy another nearby farm to increase their operation.
The 21-hole golf course will include a front and back nine plus the three-hole teaching school, Rice said. The main course will offer scenes of long mountain views, undulating hills, lakes, wetlands and wooded areas.
"No wetlands will be disturbed in the construction," Rice said.
The golf course, conference center and golf academy will be financed by the Dauphin County General Authority, an agency created in 1984 by the Dauphin County Commissioners. The authority has been authorized to finance public works projects across the state and has loaned more than $2 billion for two other golf courses, schools, hospitals and an airport.
The authority will own the golf course and Whitetail will be its exclusive general manager, Rice said.
"This will make Whitetail truly a year-round attraction and destination," Rice said.