Gene Links Mini Golf Complex for sale in Barnegat Light

Back in the day: When Jen’s Links at LBI opened in May 2019, miniature golfers of all ages packed the courses all season long. (file photo David Peggy)

When owner Jennifer Lackland died unexpectedly about five months ago, Jane Links’ future at LBI became uncertain. On Wednesday, January 4, Long Beach Island’s newest mini golf course, which opened at Barnegat Light in May 2019 and has become a major North End recreational attraction, officially goes up for sale.

“Jennifer’s heart and soul got into it, but unfortunately the sad truth is that I have to put it in someone else’s hands,” said David Lackland, who became the decision-maker regarding the estate after his sister’s death in August. 9 at age 53. “I’ve lived out of state for over 20 years, not a practical decision to keep.”

The property, which is located at 501 Broadway, is listed for approximately $6 million.

After a zoning change—removing golf courses and other uses from the list of developments previously not permitted within the borough—was passed in 2013, clearing the way for a miniature golf course, Jennifer Lackland sought to bring not only a one-of-a-kind family entertainment business to the North End. But also a walking history lesson, using replicas of historic sites and other themed items to accompany informative signs with anecdotes detailing the LBI’s past.

Wildwood-based Harris Miniature Golf Course Inc designed two levels, obstacles and unique challenges. The plans for Jen’s Links were approved by the Barnegat Light Planning Board in July 2016, with construction and construction beginning in 2018.

Once the project was completed and the two 18-hole courses open for business, it became a popular destination. Jen’s Links had a strong first season financially as mini golfers from around the world stopped in to play a round or two while visiting the island, according to management. Management said the COVID-19 pandemic significantly hampered operations during the 2020 season, but in 2021 and 2022, even with Barnegat Lighthouse closed for renovations for most of last year, business has been strong.

After Jennifer Lackland passed, the cycle process fell into the hands of her brother. While he initially intended to preserve his sister’s dream of providing a fun mini golf experience to residents and visitors, he has recently realized that it would simply be too much for him to manage from afar.

said David Lackland, now principal owner of Lackland Associates, which oversees Lackland’s operation self storage. “But I’m not there and really don’t have the time to manage the operation, and I don’t have a management company in place that can manage it, so selling the property is the most sensible option.”

TO THE MARKET: For four seasons, thousands of miniature golfers have enjoyed Jen’s Links at LBI. Whether mini golf will remain an attraction at Barnegat Light is a mystery now that the property is up for sale. (file photo David Peggy)

The hope, he said, is that someone will buy the property and keep it as a miniature golf course, but he also realizes that the buyer has the right to convert the property into something else. Jen’s Links at LBI is listed for sale on Barnegat Light’s Joy Luedtke Real Estate website with an asking price of $5,999,000.

“This spacious parcel is currently being operated as a state-of-the-art 36-hole miniature golf course with extensive hardscape, waterfall holes, and ample parking,” the listing states. The adjacent building is well appointed with a spacious patio deck, full electric kitchen with commercial freezer room and front/back office space. Jen’s Links is offered turnkey with all commercial appliances included.

“Marine and general commercial zoning allows for a wide range of possibilities, including residential development. Continue or return this sought-after 7-lot single-family package for the excellent development.”

On Jen’s Links at LBI Facebook page, the December 31 post reads: “Season and another year are in the books for us! Thank you to every single one of our staff, guests, and management team. Happy New Year and we’ll see you again in 2023.”

Depending on when the sale of the property is completed, whether Jen’s Links will open for another season, or many more seasons, is unknown at this time. For the past few seasons, the course has opened for play on the weekend in April and closed for the year on or shortly after Halloween.

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