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Popular south county attraction closes after over 50 years

AFFTON, Mo. - After more than 50 years in business, a sports complex in south St. Louis County is closing. Visitors to Tower Tee (6727 Heege Rd.) will be able to golf and use the batting cages through Saturday, then the business will host a farewell party on Sunday (July 8).

The free farewell concert will be held from 1-9 p.m. on the driving range. Three bands will play live music. Rogers & Nienhaus will perform from 1-3 p.m., followed by Joe Dirt and The Dirty Boys playing from 3:45-6 p.m., and That 80s Band will conclude the party from 6:45-9 p.m.

There will be food and drinks for purchase. All are invited.

Tower Tee opened in 1963 and has operated on rented land since. Last summer, the land was put up for sale.

Tower Tee's golf course, driving range, mini-golf and batting cages could soon be replaced by a new subdivision. The landowner, Tegna, is working out an agreement with a developer that wants to build The Arbors at Tower Tree, a neighborhood with nearly 160 homes.

Many famous athletes and celebrities have visited Tower Tee over the years including Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, John Goodman and Ozzie Smith, but Steve Lotz, whose family has owned and operated Tower Tee for three generations, said it is the every day St. Louisans he will remember.

"To me the celebrities are the moms, dads, and kids that have been here," said Lotz. "Just watching kids develop. We've had people come up to us that look like they've got white hair and said, 'I learned how to play golf here when I was a little kid.'"

Dave Swatek, who manages the batting cage operations at Tower Tee, spoke about the many longtime customers who went on to bring their grandchildren to Tower Tee.

Tower Tee will host an auction featuring equipment and memorabilia on Monday, July 9, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.