are now in the process of converting the Resort to a PUD “Planned
Unit Development” where you can own a piece of the Rock.
This is a “First Time Offering” of these Clean, Spacious,
Cabins and RV Lots.
I would like to give you some of the history of the Resort, that
I personally know about.
Rocky Reef Resort is one of the 1st resorts, of 6 resorts established
on the lake, back in the 20s and early 30s when the area was well
know for the white pine lumber industry, as well as the wild rice
and maple syrup industries, that each came after the lumber was
all harvested. In the early 30s the resort was known for its chicken
and steak dinners and its 15 modern cabins. Now back then, modern
meant that your cabin had a basic structure with a roof over your
head. The cabins had gas lights and gas space heater furnaces,
a couple of beds, no indoor plumbing, and a community outhouse
and one shower house.
It came with a 16-ft wooden row boats that you could use, but
if you wanted to pay .50 to a guy, which was considered at that
time to be a guide, because he had a boat and motor. He would
hook multiple boats together with ropes and tow you out into the
lake. When you got to where you thought you might like to fish,
you would just untie the rope from the cleat on your boat and
you could fish the day. The guide would come back out at a certain
time and pick you up. Just look at what we have now. Back then,
Lake Mille Lacs was not known for its walleyes. No, it was know
for its big Northern Pike. You have to remember that, back then
they were not going out very far from shore. The lake was known
for getting and I quote; very rough, very quickly.
continued from previous page..
Once the early spring spawn was done, the walleyes would move
out into the main lake and not many people could get to them.
So they fished the huge Northern instead. It was not until the
late 50s and early 60s before people could access the deeper parts
of the lake that the walleye fishery really took off.
In 1939, the main lodge burned down and the Resort was moved from
where hwy 169 sits now, down to the waters edge. We are now in
the early 60s and the resort is going through another change with
the times. The owner at that time bought a launch and started
to do the launch fishing, along with a boat dealership, that sold
Lund boats and Johnson and Seahorse outboard motors. That went
on until 1977 when a new owner decided that there was no money
in boat sales and turned the resort into a fish house park. There
were over 100 fish house spread across 5 acres of resort property.
Let’s just say that plan did not work out too well and the
resort fell into a state of disrepair and the business struggled
until its sale to me in 1990. Now I was just a young man of 26
when we bought the resort. I was just finishing up my outboard
motor mechanics schooling at the Anoka technical institute. Just
before I was to complete my 15- months of schooling, my instructor
came to me and said, Digger that is what they called me because
I would work on anything that no one else wanted to. You really
need to work for yourself; there is a resort on Mille lacs for
I had been staying at a resort for 5-years, just up the road from
Rocky Reef so I knew where it was and how bad of shape it was
in. To make a long story short, we bought the resort and we moved
up here 3-weeks later. Patty drove back and forth to the twin
cities every day for almost 3-yrs. She already had 23-yrs in with
the meat cutters union and she was going to try to put in 7 more
years to draw her full pension. Well that was not going to happen,
with her working all week and then coming home and working all
weekend, it was taking its toll. So she quit her job of 23 years
at Holiday, which is now Gander Mountain, and made the resort
our full time job. We spent the next 7 years rebuilding and cleaning
up decades of junk and trash. With the Treaty issues of the 90s
and the various slot changes, the areas economic state was in
a deep depression. In 1995 and 1998 we put in over 30 rv sites
and had gotten rid of over 75 fish houses and had remodeled all
of the cabins and the resort was starting to emerge from its many
years of disrepair and economic down turn. We started to see that
there were many resorts on the west side that where not able to
diversify enough and soon found them selves being bought out by
Once again in 2002 the Resort went through another change; we
added the restaurant to the Resort. That went very well, so 3
years later in 2005 we added the bar to the restaurant. There
were no places left, from here to Garrison and south to Chico’s
to stop and have something to eat and a drink, especially on the
lake. So it has been a good call. Everyone seems to really enjoy
the service, food and drink along with the view of the lake. I
hate to say it but, we are a dying breed, the mom and pop resorts
in the state and for that matter, in the country. This conversion
will allow you and yours, a place to "Own" a very nice
spot in a very nice area of the lake. It has very low fishing
pressure and some of the best fisherman on the lake, on site.
These waters hold all of my money spots for the tournaments that
I fish through out the season on the lake. So there you have it,
just some history of the resort and what it has been through and
where it is headed. We are very excited to offer these lots and
cabins to you and yours to "Own" your piece of Rocky
Reef on Lake Mille Lacs. Gods not making anymore lakeshore that’s
a fact. Get in now while you have a great opportunity to own a
lake lot for under $150,000 dollars.
are not going down and will only go up! Real estate in the area
has increased 2 and 3 times the value in just 3 years already.
These cabins and lots are ready to use, with low property taxes
per lot and no yard maintenance you can come up and enjoy the
lake the way it was meant to be. We sit on 6.5 acres and 700 ft
and Patty Odle