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Horseshoe Bay
Slick Rock Golf Course Bay Country

Our History

Horseshoe Bay
The Premier
Resort Community
Wayne and Norman Hurd

Wayne and Norman Hurd, developers of Horseshoe Bay standing in the indoor Tennis Center in the 1970's

The development of Horseshoe Bay began nearly 40 years ago with the vision of two men from Brady, Texas, Norman Hurd and Wayne Hurd.

In 1969 Norman and his wife Dorothy were looking for acreage on Lake LBJ on which to build a home. What they saw was the property referred to by locals as the "Coke" Ranch (because its owners, the Lupton family, were Coca–Cola bottlers in Fort Worth). Norman had enjoyed successes in oil, gas and mineral explorations and real estate promotion and envisioned a possible development. When he was told that the ranch was not for sale, Norman turned to his cousin Wayne for assistance.

Wayne Hurd was a successful homebuilder and real estate developer who had been instrumental in the development of Las Colinas in Dallas. He was a past president of Las Colinas Corporation and served on the Board of Directors of Southland Financial Corporation.

"I immediately saw the potential for the development of a resort," Wayne says. "The Lupton Ranch was in a great location. I told Norman I would join him in trying to purchase and develop it. We agreed that our goal would be the creation of something Texas did not have at that time–a top quality resort."

Plans for Development Begin

Aerial View

An aerial view of Horseshoe Bay prior to development

On March 10, 1970, Wayne obtained an option to purchase the ranch for $2 million under the company he had formed called Hurd Properties. In June Wayne was able to exercise the option with funds from an initial loan from Ralph Giesecke at Home State Bank, the only bank located in Marble Falls at that time.

Aerial View

An aerial view of Horseshoe Bay after development

In September, the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) announced plans to build a power plant on the lake and issued a letter of condemnation in order to acquire an 800–foot wide easement and place huge power line towers down the middle of the Coke Ranch. Wayne began negotiations with the LCRA and by December was able to reach an agreement over easement rights. Terms of the settlement included allowing the Hurds to reshape the shoreline and to fill and build into the lake.

Let's Call it "Horseshoe Bay"

Horseshoe Bay Gate

The original entry gate into Horseshoe Bay

The Hurds formed Lake LBJ Improvement Corporation to develop the property, the stock of which was equally owned by Norman and Wayne. In 1971 the Hurds acquired loans totaling $4.7 million to purchase the balance of the ranch and begin development of the resort. They also began the search for a name. Because Horseshoe Creek ran through the property and the bay had a natural circular shape like a horseshoe, the name Horseshoe Bay was at the top of their list. Then, the LCRA dropped Lake LBJ about 31 feet to begin work on the power plant.

"One day Norman and I were standing in the middle of the dry lake bottom. I stumbled across a rusty horseshoe and picked it up. We decided that was a sign and settled the question of the name," says Wayne. That horseshoe still hangs in Wayne's office.

That year, construction began on condominiums, a Yacht Club, marina, stables, the airstrip, lighthouse, an entry gate and water and sewage plants. The Municipal Utility District was created. And, the Hurds contracted Robert Trent Jones, Sr., to design an 18–hole championship golf course (Slick Rock Golf Course). Jones would go on to design the Ram Rock golf course (opened in 1981) and Applerock (opened in 1985).

From Master Plan to Resort Community

Yacht Club

Outside the Horseshoe Bay Yacht Club in the 1970's.

In 1972, the Hurds acquired the Fritz and Annlies Matern Wennmohs ranch, which would become Horseshoe Bay West, Applehead and Applehead Island. In 1973 the Slick Rock Pro Shop and Golf Course opened and two years later, the Texas State Open Golf Tournament was held there.

In 1972, the Hurds acquired the Fritz and Annlies Matern Wennmohs ranch, which would become Horseshoe Bay West, Applehead and Applehead Island. In 1973 the Slick Rock Pro Shop and Golf Course opened and two years later, the Texas State Open Golf Tournament was held there.

In 1974, the Hurds took control of land sales efforts, forming Horseshoe Bay Corp to market homesites developed by Lake LBJ Improvement. During the late 70s and early 80s, the company's international marketing programs included offices in Germany and Canada and real estate brokers throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

Ribbon cutting ceremonies for the Applerock Golf Course. (l–r) Otto Grove, Sam Tarbet, Wayne Hurd, Robert Trent Jones, Sr., Norman Hurd and Ron Mitchell

Ownership of Lake LBJ Improvement was held by both Hurd families until August 1977, when an exchange of properties and interests between Norman and Wayne resulted in Wayne acquiring ownership of Lake LBJ Improvement (development company and land sales) and Horseshoe Bay Corp (marketing brokerage) while retaining a minority interest in the amenity operating company. Wayne interest in that company was sold to The Jaffe Group of San Antonio in 1987 and since that time Morris D. Jaffe, Jr., has acquired the remainder of the Norman Hurd families' ownership of that company.

In 2005, the citizens of Horseshoe Bay voted to incorporate and the City of Horseshoe Bay was established.

The Leading Real Estate Brokerage

View of Front

The sales company formed by the Hurds in June 1974, Horseshoe Bay Corp, operates today as the premier real estate brokerage of Horseshoe Bay. Wayne Hurd is Chairman of the Board, Sam J. Tarbet, who joined the Horseshoe Bay staff in 1975, is president, and Darrell Haney, who was the first golf pro at the Slick Rock Golf Course back in 1972, is executive vice–president of marketing.

Horseshoe Bay Corp currently markets homes, town homes, condominiums and homesites in Horseshoe Bay, Horseshoe Bay West, Bay Country, Pecan Creek, Applehead, Applehead Island, Escondido, The Peninsula, Skywater, The Waters, and Westgate as well as other communities currently under development in Horseshoe Bay.

The corporate offices of Lake LBJ Improvement and the Horseshoe Bay Corp Sales Center are located at the Bay Center complex adjacent to the fountain lakes at the Horseshoe Bay entrance at FM 2147 and Horseshoe Bay Boulevard.


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