Resorters of the Year: Boyd Lodge owners in Crosslake win award
Mike and Ruth Schwieters are very involved in community.
Mike and Ruth Schwieters, owners of Boyd Lodge in Crosslake, were selected as Resorters of the Year at the Community of Minnesota Resorts Fall Conference in Duluth held Oct. 31-Nov. 2.
"It's really an honor," Mike Schwieters said by phone Monday, Nov. 15. "It's such a great organization of fellow resorters that, honestly, it's an honor to be part of the group and be recognized that way."
To qualify for the recognition, Resorters of the Year must be members of the Community of Minnesota Resorts in good standing for the previous three years, have the ability to maintain a successful and progressive resort, have a history of helping and mentoring other resort owners, and have involvement in community activities.
" It's such a great organization of fellow resorters that, honestly, it's an honor to be part of the group and be recognized that way."
— Mike Schwieters.
Schwieters has been involved in resorting for many years, according to a news release from the Community of Minnesota Resorts. His maternal grandparents started the resort. In 1966, his grandparents tragically passed away in a car accident, so Schwieters' parents moved to the resort to run it when he was only 3 years old.
His parents were always planning to take over the resort, but it was just a little sooner than expected.
As he grew up, his dad told him to go out and explore the world to see if resorting was what he really wanted to do. So, he did.
During that time the resort was sold. The new owners made some major changes. The original cabins were taken off and 17 townhomes were built, some of which had fractional ownership. These owners lost the resort.
In 2010, life for Mike and Ruth was very different. They moved to the resort, and they started reorganizing it. They have been buying back as many of the townhomes as possible and have added additional units. As of now there are 24 cabins. They are also looking into adding eight more units across the road.
They like many aspects of resorting. Ruth really loves when the guests keep coming back year after year and they become like family. They love getting kids outside. She says it is great when they see kids fishing with their parents, etc., and they love being part of that.
They both enjoy interacting with the guests. They are active in their lodge and activities. Mike and Ruth are always keeping an eye out for ways to improve their resort.
" I believe you need to be involved in your community where you live. You have to give back to that, especially in the tourism trade that we are in. We're really interdependent on each other and it's always a goal of mine to be involved and give back and help out in any way I can because we are truly in this together."
— Mike Schwieters.
They know their guests appreciate their resort as well. For example, when a longtime guest passes away, they are not surprised at the number of photos on display that are taken at their resort. They said it warms their hearts.
Mike is involved in the Brainerd Lakes Chamber board, sits on the Crosslake Chamber board, is vice president of the Whitefish Area Lodging Association and is on two scholarship boards.
"One thing I truly believe in is being involved in your community," Mike said by phone. "That, for me, is really an important aspect. Being on the chamber board of directors as well as involved with the Whitefish Area Lodging Association and Crosslake Chamber, the Crosslakers group ... I believe you need to be involved in your community where you live. You have to give back to that, especially in the tourism trade that we are in. We're really interdependent on each other and it's always a goal of mine to be involved and give back and help out in any way I can because we are truly in this together."
Both Mike and Ruth are very involved and work well as a team. Mike has admitted that without Ruth’s full support he wouldn’t have been able to be involved with so many great organizations and efforts.
They sponsor many area events. They were part of the Crosslakers' work that led to the creation of the National Loon Center in Crosslake. They also offer their resort as the location for many causes. For example, they donated rooms and a boat when researchers were on the Whitefish Chain of Lakes banding loons.
CMR is also recognizing them for their support of other resort owners. They especially provide guidance on fractional ownership and financing. They have volunteered their resort for CMR functions. In addition, Mike has served as CMR vice president and as of November became president of the board.
Mike has also served as a voice for area resorts by presenting tourism related topics to the state Legislature.
When asked about challenges that they see in the years to come, they said COVID-19 is front and center. There are still unknowns. They trust that the industry will be in good shape. Regulations are always changing and resorters have to keep up on it and pay attention. That is why Mike is involved in the CMR Legislative Committee. Legislation and taxes are always constant battles.
Nominations for the annual award are reviewed by a committee of the previous three winners. This year's committee consisted of Jim and Kristin Wherley; Clint and Patty Mueller; and Tim and Karen Senger. They said it was not an easy choice this year, as all entrants were deserving.