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Do you have any idea who the buyers are? Just wondering. I know there is a website to the Messenger but I don't know it - do you?

Thanks -- Vickie

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There was an article in the Mille Lacs Messenger about the sale of this resort. They were introduced at a meeting last weekend with the condo owners. It looks like the new owners have an interest in growing the business , not shutting it down.
Very good news for the south end of the lake.

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Mille Lacs Messenger
280 West Main
PO Box 26
Isle, MN 56342
(320) 676-3123
Fax (320) 676-8450 [email protected]
Papers signed, Izatys sold
by Joel Patenaude, Messenger Staff Writer
New owners include ex-lawn care, fishing pro
Ending more than a year of speculation, the new owners of Izatys Golf and Yacht Club introduced themselves to townhome owners Saturday morning just minutes after signing a purchase agreement for the premiere resort on the south side of Mille Lacs Lake.

Introduced as one of the two principle new owners, Dave Kramber, (pictured, right) came to the podium in the ground level dining room of the main lodge at Izatys filled with about 100 nervous townhome owners and resort employees.

Kramber, the former owner of a Twin Cities lawn-care maintenance company and a former professional walleye fisherman, said he intends to take the 650-acre property to “the next level.”

Also on hand was Kramber’s primary business partner, Don Riesterer, chairman of the board of WHYUSA Financial Group (pictured, center). The two men said they have a couple silent partners with real estate experience also backing the purchase.

“We have a lot of exciting ideas,” Kramber said. “We ask that everyone get behind us and get excited, too.”

For an undisclosed sum, the men have agreed to buy the entire property — including the two golf courses, restaurant, lodge and marina — except for the “stone lodge” and a house owned by Izatys seller Chip Glaser (pictured, left) which was already under a purchase agreement.

Kramber said the announcement of any changes in the operation of the resort will have to wait until a due diligence period ends and the deal is completed on Dec. 5. “There shouldn’t be any lapse in operations,” he assured his audience.

“It’s vital to our survival that we make this a year-round resort,” Kramber said. “It’s 90 miles from the Twin Cites and it's an unbelievable property.

Kramber said he owned an Izatys townhome for a decade before selling it recently to build a log home down the road.

Kramber said he intends to be on-site full-time, putting to use his landscaping experience as the former owner of Southwest Lawn Maintenance Inc. which served the Twin Cities area.

He said he’s fished Mille Lacs for 30 years. He went pro, traveling national fishing circuits for five years ending three years ago.

“I don’t have a lot of resort experience, but I know this property inside and out and I know the fishing industry,” he said.

Kramber said he will aggressively pursue the organizers of fishing tournaments, large snowmobile events and book weddings. He said he will also consider offering entertainment on weekend nights that draw local crowds, such as live music and stand-up comedy.

Kramber said he looks forward to working closely with the marketing firm for the rental and time share properties.

Riesterer said he and Kramber have been business partners for four years. “This is the biggest thing so far,” he told the crowd of the Izatys deal.

Riesterer said his real estate interests include a log home company that wants to build on Izatys lots.

Kramber said Izatys golf pro Jason Tolette will stay on, as will his father in a consulting role.
The restaurant will likely be taken over by a company with catering and restaurant experience from the Twin Cities, Kramber said.

A townhome owner asked, “Is there hope for a D’Amico’s?” referring to the critically-acclaimed Italian restaurant in Minneapolis.

Kramber replied, “Yes.”

Later Kramber said there are as many as seven restaurant companies “pursuing us.” With a purchase agreement for Izatys now in hand, he said negotiations for new food service can begin.

Glaser acknowledged the many months of rumors. A Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe official acknowledged looking into buying the property at one point.

“I even heard recently we were selling to the Minnesota Twins,” Glaser said.

Glaser said Izatys was a successful public-private partnership. Its expansion over the past decade was due to the cooperation of various state agencies and Mille Lacs County, which agreed to its first tax increment financing deal to help the resort.

Steve Dubbs, a townhome owner and descendent of one of the first owners of the resort that became Izatys, was on hand to hear the announcement.

He said the resort was started in 1922 by retired Detroit, Mich., school teacher Rose Burns. Earl Bettendorf, Dubbs’ grandfather, bought the resort in 1930 and ran it until 1952.

The resort returned to the family 10 years later, and Dubbs’ parents, Jerry and Dorothy, ran the resort and golf course until Glaser bought it in 1987.

“On the one hand we’re sad to see the Glaser family sell the resort. They made a significant impact on the resort and the community and will be missed,” Steve Dubbs said. “On the other hand, it is exciting to see the enthusiasm of the new owners, the excitement they have for the property and their vision to take it to next level.”

Bob Minish, president of the Izatys Townhome Association, said he was pleased by the announcement.

Earlier in the meeting, Minish announced that Midwest Resorts, formerly Premiere Resorts, will soon take over maintenance of the townhome properties. The company has agreed to retain two trusted maintenance managers, he said.

Click here for more news

© 2002 Mille Lacs Messenger All Rights Reserved.

The Mille Lacs Messenger is a member of the Minnesota Newspaper Association

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