Northern Indiana tourist destination Amish Acres is set to close at the end of the year after 50 years in business, according to an economic development official in Nappanee, where the tourist destination has operated since 1970.
Executive Director Jeff Kitson of the Nappanee Area Chamber of Commerce said Friday he received a letter from founder and CEO Richard Pletcher to inform him Pletcher’s family is retiring at the end of 2019 and will close Amish Acres after its New Year’s fireworks show.
Kitson said the business will likely go to auction in early spring if the family hasn’t found a buyer by then.
The Nappanee site includes a bakery, meat and cheese shop, arts and crafts boutiques, a theater for stage plays, an inn with 62 guest rooms and a restaurant featuring traditional Amish cooking. Kitson said more than 5 million people have visited since it opened.
Amish Acres is located on the the Stahly-Nisley-Kuhns farmstead, the only Amish farm listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It was founded in 1839 by widow Barbara Stahly and her five sons, who migrated from Germany to Elkhart County, likely becoming the first Amish settlers in Indiana.