A resort that traces its roots to a motel, golf course and cottage once owned by one of America’s most popular entertainers is bringing Broadway shows and other acts to northern San Diego County.
The Welk Resort Theatre, a 339-seat auditorium with a spacious lobby, is offering musicals and other shows in its 2010 season.
Taking in a show at the north Escondido venue can also provide a glimpse at a 1960s foray into a rugged and then-remote area by Lawrence Welk, who was a popular bandleader and television star.
Welk was planning to buy an orange grove when he drove the narrow, winding roads of the northern San Diego countryside in 1964. Instead, the star of “The Lawrence Welk Show” bought a motel and a nine-hole golf course.
Not long afterward, Welk staged one of his shows at the site and it became a popular tourist destination. The amenities gradually included more golf greens, the theatre and eventually a timeshare vacation community.
The resort is open to the public and contains a museum that details Welk’s life.
Welk’s television show was on the air from 1955 to 1982. The North Dakota-born accordionist and TV impresario died in March 2003 at age 89. Welk’s grandson, Jon Fredricks, operates the resorts and keeps the Welk family traditions alive.
Through early next year, the Welk Resort Theatre will hold 14 shows and performances. Many of the matinee and evening shows and performances will include buffet brunches and dinners. The buffet features carved meats, fresh fish, poultry and a variety of salads from the on-site Canyon Grille Restaurant.
Visit http://www.welkresorts.com for more information on the shows or the resort.