Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hannagan family completes sale of Gordyville USA

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GIFFORD — Gordyville USA — home to a diverse array of events — will continue as an event center.

The Gordon Hannagan family closed the sale of the business Wednesday afternoon. It was purchased by a group of four out-of-state investors.

The sale comes nearly two years to the day that the property, located about 2 miles west of Gifford, was listed for sale — May 16, 2022.

The Hannagan family owned and operated the 31.1-acre property for 37 years. It includes a 144,000-square-foot main building, another 11,000-square-foot building, more than 1,000 square feet of office space and parking for more than 500.

The late Gordon Hannagan and his wife, Jan, established the center as an equine and auction showplace. It has been operated for several decades by their children and some of their children’s spouses.

Gifford Village President Adam Pannbacker said the event center has meant a great deal to Gifford.

“Gordyville’s always been an economic driver for Gifford between our restaurants and other businesses,” Pannbacker said. “It’s always brought people into the town and has been a good thing.”

Longtime Gifford Fire Chief Rich McFadden said Gordyville puts Gifford’s name in the public eye and has been vital to the community.

“The Hannagan family was very good providing the building for people to meet with different organizations about needs” following the November 2013 tornado that damaged Gifford.

The new owners lauded the “dedication and esteemed reputation” the Hannagan family brought to the Gifford community and Gordyville during the past 37 years.

“Our vision is to maintain and elevate Gordyville USA as a premier event center with continued support and enjoyment from the local communities for years to come,” they said.

They pledged to work closely with the Hannagan family to ensure “a smooth transition for all events scheduled in 2024.”

The 2024 calendar of events at Gordyville looks much the same as it has in years past with entries ranging from the Midwest Equipment Dealers Ag Expo to the Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser the monthly flea market, horse shows, barrel races and community craft show.

Lisa Banga-Graham of rural Watseka will serve as the center’s new general manager.

The Hannagan family called Gordyville USA “our pride and joy — a place where dreams were realized, friendships flourished and memories were etched into the fabric of our lives.”

They said the sale of the center has produced a mix of emotions.

In addition to numerous horse shows, Gordyville has hosted fundraisers such as the University of Illinois’ Coaches vs. Cancer, rodeos, country-music concerts, livestock events, trade shows and the Gifford community Christmas show.

Last October, Jody Quiram, one of the Hannagans’ daughters, said she saw a surge in attendance at Gordyville USA rodeos and credited it to the Paramount Network show “Yellowstone,” which debuted in 2018.

“It appeals to everything rodeo,” Quiram said. “Everybody wants to be a cowboy.”

Now it will be the new owners’ responsibility to plan for such events.

A Facebook entry Quiram posted Monday told how her late father had placed a message beside the center’s main light switch, reminding the last person out to turn off the lights.

The lights have gone off for the last time at Gordyville as a Hannagan family-owned center. It now enters a new era.

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