Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Despite a dearth of walleyes, hints of a resort resurgence at Lake Mille Lacs

  • Article by: CURT BROWN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 26, 2014 - 12:05 AM

“My business experience was completely unrelated to the hospitality industry,” he said. “And, at 58, I’m old enough to know better.”

He purchased Izatys’ 78-slip marina, 28-room hotel, clubhouse and golf course last May. Only the golf course was open last summer.

“It was rotting away every year,” Fink said. “If someone didn’t do something, the mold would have taken over, so it’s turned into a major project.”

With pallets of bricks and shingles and the swimming pool still drained, he admits it looks like chaos, “but things are happening fast right now as we start hiring and put on the finishing touches.

“There are always hiccups along the way, but I think the economy is coming back, and we’ve seen a huge amount of interest,” Fink said. “It’s a good opportunity and a good location — only an hour’s drive from the northern-tier suburbs.”

The band’s big plan

The tribal development arm of the Mille Lacs Band is equally optimistic. In 2002, the tribe bought Eddy’s, which dates to the 1960s, and closed it in September for demolition. The buildings were razed this spring, and the band is investing at least $10 million in a posh new 64-room resort, restaurant and marina.

The plan includes adding eight private two- and three-bedroom lakefront cabins. The renovation will include moving a parking lot away from the water to preserve the lakeshore and maximize views.

It’s the band’s latest foray into the hospitality business as it tries to diversify revenues from its gambling pillars: Grand Casinos and hotels at Mille Lacs and Hinckley. The band recently announced it was purchasing two downtown St. Paul hotels.

“We saw an opportunity to refresh the Eddy’s property,” Nayquonabe said. “The economy of the entire region revolves around Lake Mille Lacs, and Eddy’s resort is no different.”

Nayquonabe said walleye fishing has long been Mille Lacs’ calling card, but he thinks that will change as the lake becomes a more all-around family destination.

“By helping boost tourism in east-central Minnesota, we think it will be a win-win for the Mille Lacs Band and the entire tourism industry,” he said. “We are making a significant investment in the renovation of this lake resort because we strongly believe in the future of the lake.”

 

Curt Brown • 612-673-4767





 

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Investing in the future of Lake Mille Lacs

    Friday May 23, 2014

    In 2002, the Mille Lacs Band bought Eddy’s, which dates to the 1960s, and closed it in September for...

  • Graphic: Resort finder: An interactive guide to your favorite Minnesota getaways

    Monday June 10, 2013

    Use Resort Finder by rolling your mouse over the push pin, which will show you...

  • Memorial Day Events

    Friday May 23, 2014

    MONDAYPIONEERS AND SOLDIERS MEMORIAL CEMETERY: 2945 Cedar Av. S., Minneapolis, 9:40 a.m. The Seward Concert Band will perform free in...

  • Let the fun begin: A fishing boat cruised in the afternoon sun this week on Wahkon Bay off Lake Mille Lacs’ southeastern shore.

  • Eddy’s resort in Onamia is being torn down and will be replace by a plush new resort. The fishing party boats will remain in dry dock this year.

  • Projects are poppping: Clockwise from top left, Pete and Mary Turnquist played a round of golf at the iconic Izatys Resort. Meanwhile, Eddy’s resort was demolished this spring, to be replaced by a $10 million resort, restaurant and marina. Paul Fink, the new owner of Izatys, stood on the bridge constructed this winter that now connects both sides of the resort. He is pouring $2.5 million into the venerable resort, which is in the midst of a frantic remodeling.

  • Eddy's, resort in Onamia is being torn down and will be replace by a replaced with a plush new resort. ] Thursday, May 22, 2014 GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com

  • Pete and Mary Turnquist played a round of golf at Izatys Resort. ] Thursday, May 22, 2014 GLEN STUBBE * gstubbe@startribune.com

  • Top 10 inland lakes

    Ten largest lakes (entire lake within borders of Minnesota):

    1.Red Lake (both “Upper” and “Lower”) - 288,800 acres

    2.Mille Lacs Lake - 132,516 acres

    3.Leech Lake - 111,527 acres

    4.Lake Winnibigoshish - 58,544 acres

    5.Lake Vermilion - 40,557 acres

    6.Lake Kabetogama - 25,760 acres

    7.Mud Lake (Marshall County) - 23,700 acres

    8.Cass Lake - 15,596

    9.Lake Minnetonka - 14,004 acres

    10.Otter Tail Lake - 13,725 acres

    Source: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the All-Star Game experience

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close