Michigan Fishing Resorts | Wilderness Bay Lodge & Resort | Dan – 50 degrees in Feb? Laundry woes and dog flows…


It’s been quite a while since we have blogged and a lot has gone on in the last week! 

Last week, my brother-in-law, Joe invited me to join him on a snowmobile trip with some of his crew.  I was reluctant to go as I felt two days away from “getting things going” at the resort would be lost, but I’m thrilled I went.  We went on a 268 mile trip to Houghton, Michigan which is in the “finger” of the Upper Peninsula.  After the first 15 minutes, I wondered if I made the right choice, but I fell right into it soon after.  Leading our group was Jim from Thunder Bay Resort and bringing up the rear was Robbie from Hillside Resort.  Having the opportunity to visit with these guys was definitely the highlight of my trip.  These two are friends and I’m learning there’s a network of folks up here that truly want to see others succeed as they have.  I feel fortunate to be in the company of others who have been on the same journey we are on who also empathize and encourage me along the way.  I appreciate Joe nudging me to go as I met a number of great guys and saw a beautiful part of our country that many don’t experience!! 

My ride on Wed/Thurs

Houghton, MI


We got home on Thursday and I had to get back to work, but I wasn’t entirely prepared for the next few days of thrills.  Laura had come down with a bug since we arrived here and had been sick for almost two weeks.  While Joe was here, he offered to help us at the resort which was MUCH appreciated, but we also decided to jump into our linen inventory to see what our status was.  We stripped every bed in the resort and brought it all down to the store along with all the linen in the laundry room.  We all regretted starting the task, but we kept at it to organize and see what we had in the end.  It’s simply crazy how much stuff we had and how much stuff we needed to purge.  Laura found sheets similar to those that she and her brother had on their beds over 40 years ago!  I suppose we had enough when close to the end of the day, Joe walked out of the back room with a green bra covered in tassels on his head that he had found buried in the linen room.  A large donation went out to our local humane society and to our local Goodwill.  And in the end, we will be using a linen service in our first couple of years to assist us so we won’t even be using our own sheets!  HA!  Go figure!

The great laundry purge!

The weather turned on Friday and warmed up to 50 degrees and we had close to a full week of 50 degree temps.   My buddy, Mike, had suggested a week prior that I had better wash my Harley from the trip up here or it would rust from the salt.  What a great opportunity for that!!  I went from snowmobiling only two days before to washing my Harley in the same week!!  I was destined to take a ride to show off my incredible spontaneity, but there was just enough snow still on our driveway to make it too treacherous to get out on the main road.  I chose safety over stupidity for once in my life.    The thaw over the week was devastating to the local economy in the end.  The snow pack on the roads was gone, the lakes were thawing and folks were cancelling at area resorts left and right.  While we were thankful we weren’t depending on the winter season this year, we were saddened to see the frustrations of other business owners in the area.  This area depends on the cold weather in the winter!! 

I know there is snow in the pic, but it was 50 degrees!

By the beginning of this week, I was getting frustrated with myself that I was struggling with the progress I was making with opening this little resort!  HOW HARD CAN IT BE??  I seem to be hit with numerous lulls along the process.  I suspect in more cases than not, it’s that I don’t know the questions I should ask.  Then on top of that, both dogs are getting sick for some reason.  Bobo, Juls service dog, has puked three days this week and had red, runny diarrhea…..not good.  We’ve had a tough time getting them acclimated to the new surroundings and they have figured out it’s FUN to run in the woods, but that has also exposed them to the new treats of DEER POOP.  Why in the Hell would anyone want to eat deer poop??  Dog’s don’t look at it that way.  Fast forward and $300+ later, Bobo’s visit to the vet was a successful one.  He’s getting better, but now Juls is feeling puny.  WE CAN’T WIN!!

So the past few days have shown more progress.  I’ve applied for our food license and gotten a preliminary approval from the state pending an inspection.  I figured out how to test our well water and got that sent in.  We applied for our Motor Fuel License, Retail Bait License, and applied to sell hunting and fishing licenses through the DNR.  I think I have every state agency looking through my underwear drawer!  I’m still wrestling with Google to get control over the business listings when you Google our resort as it shows up “permanently closed”.  We did sign up with Resorts and Lodges.com and Homeaway.com (Vacation Rental By Owner.com) too to help expedite and elevate our presence on the web.  WE NEED RESERVATIONS!!  An encouraging meeting with our accountant was timely and helpful to ease our concerns about filing taxes this year.  Crazy as it seems, convenience store suppliers have not returned my calls yet!  Guess they aren’t too desperate for business!!  My next greatest hurdle will be to apply for our liquor license to serve package beer and wine in our store.  (We will not have a bar or restaurant.)

Yesterday was a fun trip into town….while I had to go into Watersmeet and Land O’ Lakes to run a couple of errands, I decided to stop in a number of local businesses to introduce myself and couldn’t have been more impressed with the reception I received.  If you haven’t been up in the Northwoods, you haven’t had the chance to experience one of the main reasons we were attracted to this area.  I’m proud to be associated with a number of these business owners and how they treat a “newcomer” even though we are outsiders!

The morning after Thunder Snow!

The snow is back (Thunder Snow Thursday Night!!) and an expected 5-8 inches tonight.  We hope we will get a chance to see our Nephew/Godson, Danny this weekend….weather permitting.  



Wilderness Bay Lodge and Resort is a family oriented facility located in Watersmeet, Michigan on Thousand Island Lake within the Cisco chain of lakes.  We offer snowmobiling and ice fishing in the winter months and game fishing for muskie, northern pike, largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, crappie and bluegill in the spring, summer and fall months.  We offer waterfront cabins, snowmobiles, boat rental, a candy shop and convenience store where you can purchase hunting and fishing licenses.  We pride ourselves on being family oriented with the desire to a place that you will call your home away from home.  New owners Dan and Laura Hance are excited for this opportunity.  Dan comes to this resort with thirty years of experience within the hospitality field and Laura will continue nursing with over twenty five years of knowledge and experience within the health care field.  Dan and Laura want their love for people, their work ethic and combined talents to make Wilderness Bay their dream come true.  We look forward to hearing from you!



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