News - Kane County

Museums focusing on sports teams, veterans being eyed for former Pheasant Run property

St. Charles resident John Mars envisions the western edge of the former Pheasant Run Resort property in St. Charles being home to three museums that would shine a spotlight on Chicagoland sports along with veterans.

St. Charles resident John Mars envisions the western edge of the former Pheasant Run Resort property in St. Charles being home to three museums that would shine a spotlight on Chicago-area sports along with veterans.

Mars proposes to build a Chicago Sports Hall of Fame, a Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame and the Yes To Vets museum on Pheasant Run Resort’s western edge. Yes To Vets is a veterans’ service organization that Mars started.

The three museums would be built next to one another and on one level.

“The Yes To Vets museum would pay homage to our veterans and military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marines and Space Force – as well as our dedicated first responders and volunteers,” said Mars, who has an extensive background in marketing. “All three museums would increase tourism, create employment and increase tax revenue.”

Mars is quite familiar with the resort. He worked at Pheasant Run Resort for almost eight years, serving as security guard and landscaper at the resort’s 18-hole golf course.

Pheasant Run Resort closed in March 2020 after a failed attempt to auction the resort. McGrath Honda is redeveloping the former Pheasant Run Mega Center adjacent to the property and industrial buildings will be built on the former Pheasant Run Resort golf course.

A fire in May destroyed large parts of the shuttered Pheasant Run Resort. Two male juveniles – one from Carol Stream and one from Wheaton – have been charged with causing the fire, while two other male juveniles – one from Carol Stream and one from Winfield – each have been charged with trespassing at the resort.

The land that Mars is eyeing for the three museums is west of the damaged buildings. Mars has incorporated the name Pheasant Run Resort Inc. for the venture.

“The last time Pheasant Run was incorporated was around 2014,” he said. “Since this place is closed down, I’m going to show my seriousness and incorporate the name.”

Mars also has incorporated the names of the three proposed museums. His proposed Chicago Sports Hall of Fame would focus on more than just Chicago teams.

“It’s going to take in everything around the Chicagoland area,” Mars said. “It’s across the board. There’s so much stuff going on around here.”

He started the Yes To Vets organization in 2009 as a way to help veterans with their needs.

“I just don’t like how vets are treated,” Mars said.

As part of the project, he is proposing a Lights of Glory Tribute be located directly in front and center of the three museums. The tribute would pay homage to the military along with firefighters, police officers and other first responders and the “many millions of volunteers who serve our country,” he said.