Retired Resorters of the CMR
Thank you, past CMR members, who've sold your resorts and continue to support the Community of Minnesota Resorts as Retired Resort Members!
The following retired resorters have filled out a survey in order to network with current members, and to pass along wisdom learned while operating the business.
Feel free to network with any of them listed in below links - they'd be happy to chat about resorting and pass along things they learned while running their resorts. Resorters STILL helping resorters. You guys rock - thank you, again!
Tim and Carolyn - Geneva Beach Resort in Alexandria
We owned the resort for 23 years, and sold it in 2019.
Tim & Carolyn each have a different perspective and comments below - enjoy.
From Carolyn - Due to my teaching career and raising kids, I didn't get involved in the CMR until later in our resort life. Tim jumped right into CMR commitments, though, and I watched him develop close friendships, learn business strategies, value mentorship, and see the need for being tourism advocates at all levels. When I finally had more time, I enjoyed the same benefits of CMR, and I appreciated how everyone was so willing to share ideas and help each other.
It took me a long time to readjust after selling our resort. I missed the families that we vacationed with, I missed the busy days, I missed the connections with other tourism industries, and I missed our staff. However, now that I have a new chance to move on, I enjoy my more carefree days, my new volunteer gigs, and the extra time that I can spend with our kids and grandkids. Owning a resort was very valuable to our family - we all learned so much about serving people and the importance of families staying connected.
When we decided to sell the resort, we were ready. We had planned ahead for the day by keeping the resort clean and up to date, keeping rates progressive, being extremely organized, and making numerous lists to help the new owners. Could we have kept the resort a few more years? Sure. It was tempting, as the resort was doing well and we still enjoyed it. But when looking back, we realize that it was the perfect time because we still had the drive to take our numerous resorting skills and move on to a new adventure.
Call me any time if you need a pep talk or advice. I have to mention that Beth Novotny gave me a pep talk towards the end of our sale that was invaluable. Resorters helping resorters!
The CMR provided me the opportunity to travel the state and see what other resorts were doing. I enjoyed talking to the owners and learning new ways to operate our businesses. The monthly board meetings, Day on the Hill trips, fall resort tours, spring workshops, and the fall conferences were my favorite vacations. I found strong friendships as we spent time making sure that CMR was at the forefront of MN tourism.
The biggest value I found in the CMR was finding new ways to grow and run our resort. If I had a question, it was easy to find someone who had an answer. I don't think our resort would have grown and thrived like it did without CMR member advice.
After selling Geneva Beach Resort, I found that I missed cleaning the beach and mowing the lawn, preparing for new guests coming in each week, and working to make the resort the best it could be. I don't miss replacing water heaters and working with employees that who understand the need to be detail-oriented.
As we planned to sell the resort, my one wish is that we would have removed more debt before we sold.
Now I enjoy selling resorts and talking resort life with buyers and sellers. I have a passion for the resort industry and plan to continue to support it in any way I can.
Mark & Beth Novotny owned Hyde-A-Way Bay Resort on Birch Lake for 16 years
What did you enjoy most about being a member of the CMR during your resort ownership? The friendships, great ideas, cooperation with other resorts, and being on the board for 14 of the 16 years in resorting!
Looking back, what would you say was the biggest value of CMR during your resort ownership? All the help, sharing of ideas, and networking with other resorts.
What do you wish you spent more time doing with the group? Crackerbarrels and resort gatherings!!! Just sharing and helping other resorts.
JUST FOR FUN:
What do you miss most in resorting? Making family memories for resort guests and watching the kids grow up. Seeing life change within families, newborn babies, and the unpleasant loss of a guest during the year.
What do you miss the least in resorting? Saturdays! They were very long and stressful trying to get people out, having things perfect for the guest before they arrived and greeting them. Then the long hours in the lodge Saturday night to feed and entertain the guests. Our lodge was open until 10:30 at night.
Wisdom passed along to current resort owners:
What do you wish you would have done before selling the resort? I wish I had kept more of my emails separate from the resort. It was a hard break when we sold.
And on a larger scale, I wish I had thought about my health more when I started out in resorting as I have back issues and I was always one to just 'get-r-done'. Should have hired more help to do the big project rather than take them on myself. 'No one can do it as well as I can' is not the mentality that you should take.
YES - it is OK for CMR members to contact us via e-mail with questions. I am a phone call away from anyone that I can help. Resorting is a wonderful way of life but sometimes hard to navigate. Would love to network with others.
YES – there is Life After Resorting. And, because I don’t have to run a resort, what I most enjoy doing now is . . .Not having to answer to anyone but myself!! Spending more time with family and friends. Enjoying what I provided for our guests for many years.