HomeVillage GuideThis PageWhat's OnThings to doNoticeboardLocal IssuesFeedbackCommunity CouncilFife CouncilLocal Links
St Andrews Bay Resort (Kingask) - Developers
Don Panoz (Owner)
more Kingask News   more Golf News   back to Local News

Updated 27 September 2004

Elan founder sells golf stake - at St Andrews Bay and Chateau Elan

Supervisor's Georgia Junket - official accepts gifts from Panoz

The following are extracts from The Don of Elan

......Always on the go, entrepreneur Donald Panoz has sped from pharmaceuticals to resorts to motor sports, leaving an expanding global empire in his wake.......

........"I used to think Daddy was a spy," says Panoz's daughter Donna Sparks, remembering the days when he crisscrossed Europe, Asia and Africa on pharmaceutical business. "He wore this black leather coat, and he flew in and out of exotic countries where the governments sometimes fell after he had been there. I just knew he was a spy.".......

........His entrepreneurial instincts first showed when he was posted to Japan. He noticed that the military would pick up the cost of shipping autos to Asia with arriving servicemen but wouldn't pay the return freight. Nobody wanted Japanese cars back then - not even the Japanese - so Panoz bought the used American cars in Japan, sold them at a mark-up and had less-expensive new models waiting in the States for the returning GIs.

After he was discharged, Panoz used his car-trading profits to buy a drug store in Pittsburgh. He enrolled in the Duquesne University pharmacy school but got so busy running the store and starting a family that he quit when one of his credits was disallowed.

"I said to hell with it, I'll just hire a pharmacist," he says.

Panoz never finished college, although he continued to study pharmacy on his own. Not having a degree didn't seem to hamper him. In 1960, he talked several members of the Pittsburgh Pirates into investing their World Series bonus checks in a pharmaceutical company he wanted to launch in West Virginia. His partner was an old Army buddy, Milan Puskar, who's still chairman of the firm they began, Mylan Laboratories.

"There's nothing college could have taught him," Puskar says. "Don has vision, and you can't teach vision. He's not a technical person, but he's a master salesman. He always wanted to know: Why not?"......

........It's hard to pinpoint just what Panoz considers home. While he's an Irish citizen with residency in Bermuda, he seldom visits those lands anymore. Nor is he an American citizen; he comes to the United States on visas and moves on as business and whim dictate, an entrepreneurial pinball bouncing through a world of opportunity.......

Don Panoz (Owner) - Background
more Kingask News   more Golf News   back to Local News

The Don of Elan   more

Jim Auchmutey, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 9 September 2001

Always on the go, entrepreneur Donald Panoz has sped from pharmaceuticals to resorts to motor sports, leaving an expanding global empire in his wake.

Man with the millions   more

A massive £50 million hotel and golf development is being planned for St Andrews, bringing with it the prospect of 300 new jobs. Behind the project is the American entrepreneur Dr Donald Panoz. From his home in Atlanta, Georgia, Dr Panoz explains his proposals.

The Courier, 14 September 1998

"Hey don't tell me about last weekend's weather," drawls Donald Panoz. "I don't want to build a hotel and golf resort where the weather isn't good."

Empire of the Don - Tycoon with a Tight Soul   more

Mark Padgett, Autoweek, December 1996

Out in Georgia, about an hour’s ride from the theater on Peachtree Street where Gone with the Wind first flickered to life, there is a modern-day Tara that Margaret Mitchell might have seen only in a reverie. Covering 3300 green acres, Chateau Elan is an 18th-century French-style confection that cost $120 million to build, and employs 600 people. It offers several fine restaurants, spa treatments ($459 for a basic day-package of massages. $2,299 for a six-day journey into salt glows and Vichy showers) and three golf courses, as well as an award-winning winery. Seen from Interstate 85, as it perches imperiously on the rumpled green carpet north of Atlanta, it is as imposing in magnitude as it is incongruous in its rural Georgia setting.

Panoz Motor Sports - Owner Profile   more

article from archive at

In 1997 Don Panoz decided he wanted his own racing team and so Panoz Motor Sports was formed in Georgia. However, this was just another chapter in his incredible life story that started 65 years ago in Spencer, West Virginia, and includes such diverse areas as pharmaceuticals, hotel and golf complexes and wine growing.

Diablo Grande - A Panoz Golf-Related Complex in California

The following article gives a clear indication of the exclusive nature of this massive development :-

A race for space   more

from an article in - for the luxury lifestyle

Preserved wilderness areas, parks, and greenbelts are just some of the elements desired by high-end buyers.

"Two of the most envied amenities today in the luxury market are open common areas and larger lots," says Keith Schneider, development coordinator for Diablo Grande, a sprawling 33,000-acre residential/resort community under development in Patterson, Calif.

The following news articles outline the controversy surrounding the future development of this massive resort :-

Supervisor's Georgia Junket   more

Paul, Stanislaus official accepted jet trips from Diablo Grande builder

Michael G. Mooney and Ken Carlson, Modesto Bee, California, 14 September 2003

Stanislaus County Supervisor Pat Paul spent a week last year at a luxury hotel in Georgia owned by a developer with extensive county business dealings and charged the bill to another county employee's credit card. She also received gifts from the developer, Donald Panoz, builder of the Diablo Grande golf resort in the foothills west of Patterson. The gifts included a $200 facial and massage from the hotel spa during late March 2002.

It's past time to pull the plug on Diablo Grande   more

Eric Caine, Modesto Bee, California, 25 September 2001

It must have been a defining moment for Diablo Grande supporters when they read of yet another starting date for construction of the much-touted project. The latest announcement informed us that building would begin about the middle of next year. Coming as it does on the heels of the claim that construction would begin this past July, there shouldn’t be any more doubts about the credibility of Diablo Grande representatives, and there have to be very grave concerns whether the project is worthy of further backing.

The question of water   more

Richard T Estrada, Modesto Bee, California, 9 September 2001

Developers would be required to prove they have water to support new subdivisions before building the first house under proposed legislation that has the backing of agricultural and environmental groups.

Diablo Grande go-ahead hinges on water source   more

John Holland, Modesto Bee, California, 27 August 2001

The hotel at Diablo Grande could start to rise by the end of the year, a dozen years after planning started on the hillside community southwest of the West Side community.

Water study for Diablo Grande still stands   more

John Holland, Modesto Bee, California, 12 May 2001

A state appellate court has rejected most of the legal challenges to the water supply for the Diablo Grande project.

We've heard that one before   more

Eric Caine, Modesto Bee, California, 6 April 2001

Recent news that the Diablo Grande resort project is at last out from under legal restraints (The Bee, March 9) is at best premature. Only the latest in a decadelong series of overly optimistic announcements that construction of the 5,000-home development is just months away, this most recent report overlooks some crucial facts.

Diablo Grande nears final OK   more

John Holland, Modesto Bee, California, 8 March 2001

The way could be clear for construction to finally start on the hotel and some of the 5,000 homes planned at Diablo Grande, southwest of Patterson.

EPA stands firm on resort   more

Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee, California, 11 September 2000

Federal agencies bickering over proposed construction of the Diablo Grande resort soon may move their battleground to Washington, D.C.

Resort firm sued in pollution case   more

Andrew Murray-Watson, The Scotsman, 21 August 2000

Campaigners fighting a controversial golf resort in St Andrews have expressed their alarm at reports that the firm behind the development is being sued in America for environmental damage.

Lawsuit claims Diablo Grande hurting fish   more

Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee, California, 18 July 2000

A watchdog organization committed to improving fish habitat has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Diablo Grande resort near Patterson.

Diablo Grande changes course   more

Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee, California, 2 May 2000

Diablo Grande developers have abandoned their only viable, potentially permanent water source approved by a judge -- but hope to substitute a dependable source in its place.

Scots watching Diablo Grande   more

Garth Stapley, Modesto Bee, California, 27 November 1999

Some people in a rustic, windswept Scottish town overlooking the sea suddenly have a keen interest in the bumpy ride toward development taken by Diablo Grande in Stanislaus County's western hills.

Chateau Elan - A Panoz Golf-Related Complex in Georgia

Story A   more

more Kingask News   more Golf News   back to Local News   up to Top