Cooper’s Landing to be sold

Sunday, September 26, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:50 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

After spending nearly two decades turning a small piece of Missouri River property into a well-known area resort, Mike Cooper has decided to sell Cooper’s Landing.

It’s a decision Cooper said hasn’t come easily.

“I’ve got real mixed feelings about it,” Cooper said. “I’ve built this place from nothing. I’ve got all my friends here, and we’ve got a real community thing going. I just love this place.”

In late June, Cooper lost the liquor license he’d held since 1987. Cooper appealed the Missouri Department of Alcohol and Tobacco Control’s decision, and his case was heard before the Administrative Hearing Commission in August.The commission’s decision is still pending. After losing about $500 per week in beer sales this summer, Cooper said he can’t wait any longer.

“This thing has taken so long that even if I get a ruling in my favor right now, I’m still stuck in my financial situation,” he said.

Cooper laid off his summer help, and worked 16-hour days, seven days a week to keep the Landing running this summer. But he said his savings are now depleted, and he does not have enough money to pay his property tax or his third-quarter sales tax. Beginning Monday, he said he plans to close the Landing during daytime hours to take another job. He will remain open regular hours on the weekends.

Cooper said he has talked with a real estate agent but that he will not decide whether to list the Landing until after he meets with two parties currently interested in buying the property. Cooper said he is asking $450,000 for the resort, located in Easley on a one-acre piece of land that adjoins the Missouri River and the Katy Trail.

Having owned the property since the late ’70s, and having transformed it into a resort that provides a venue for local musicians and includes two kitchens, a campground and a marina, Cooper said he won’t sell unless he finds a buyer who shares his vision of creating a respectable, family-oriented window to the Missouri River.

“If somebody came along and wanted to put a casino in here, I wouldn’t sell it to them,” he said. “I have obligations to the people who have been supporting me here, and I just need to feel like philosophically we’re on the same page.”

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