Michigan Fishing Resorts | Wilderness Bay Lodge & Resort | Dan – Bringing the resort to life!

Another week has flown by.  The wait to get contacts made and people to respond can be maddening, but then things happen in small bursts and before you know it you’re running again. 

We’re slowly bringing this resort back to life!  Laura and I have gotten into two of the five cabins to start the clean-up.  We can’t help but think there are things we’ve cleaned that look like they haven’t been touched for years.  Taking inventory of each kitchen makes you scratch your head….one cabin had NO pots or pans.  After our “bedding purge” we knew we had to make some improvements there too.  So Laura is starting to get her “touch” in the resort.  I’ve always loved how she has made our home so cozy….I think she will do a lot for the cabins and our guests too.  She ordered new comforters for every cabin last week and did some shopping for the kitchen inventory as well.  While she worked on that side, I started getting furnaces up and running.  One furnace didn’t fire up like I expected, but I figured it out!  Always feels good when I can do something like that without having to call in someone I have to pay!  Thank goodness for internet and YouTube!! 

I finally got some responses from vendors for our store last week.  (I started to worry as NO ONE was calling me back!!!!)  We now have three prospects instead of only one.  They seem to understand our business as a small “family run” operation.  (Laura prefers that over “mom and pop!”)  Laura and Juls are actually stopping in Wisconsin Dells to attend a trade show tomorrow hosted by one of the three companies.  We hope to make a decision by mid-week to get that moving forward.  One more hurdle feeling not so daunting to overcome!!  The added bonus….Juls get’s to stay at Kalahari and enjoy the waterpark this afternoon as the trade show is there tomorrow!

This is the kind of thing that frustrates you……Getting our Food License has been a drag of time as it also affects getting our Liquor License to sell package beer and wine.  To get the inspector here, we first had to get our well water tested to assure it was safe.  I was having a difficult time clarifying the tests we needed.  Two calls to the food inspector weren’t really clear so I called AND visited the health department (an hour away) to assure I had the right test kit.  I mailed the test kit a week ago on Thursday only to find out it wasn’t received in time and wasn’t enough to do the tests necessary.  Thankfully, the tech that received the water at the lab called me on Saturday and was nice enough to get all the bottles we needed to do it again, but right.  Laura and Juls had to make a two hour round trip to the lab last Saturday to pick up all the bottles to assure we got it in a timely manner.  Then on Monday, I took the same two hour round trip to deliver all the water to the lab again to save the delay of mailing yet again.  I finally called them on Friday to check the status to find our water is GREAT, but now that I finally got that info to the food inspector, his schedule was fully booked for this week so will have to wait until the following week!!    Locals tell me our well is fed by an artisian spring, so it should be good wouldn’t you think!?

So, we celebrate the little victories…right?!?!  The furnace is a victory.  The Food Supplier is a victory.  I lined us up with a credit card processor!  We got our new business checks in (which is good because all we are doing is spending money!)  We attended our first Chamber of Commerce meeting last week to get to know other business owners in the area.  That was a great use of time!! We are “live” on Michigan.org, Homeaway.com, VRBO.com, and Resortsandlodges.com.  Our Fuel License, DNR Retailer application (to sell fishing/hunting licenses), Bait License application are all in awaiting approval.  And finally, I received our coveted verification code from GOOGLE allowing us to gain control over our business listing when you Google our resort!  (It used to say “permanently closed” and had the old phone number and email)  NOW more people can find us, but I started that Feb 2!!  I’ve found some docks to purchase for this season to help get us in the water and located some boats and motors for the resort.   

Friday afternoon, I was working in the store cleaning our coolers and firing them up.  I’m thrilled to find they are coming to life and holding temp like we would expect.  While doing so, our neighbors Carol and David stopped by to introduce themselves.  They invited me to dinner and I happily accepted.  I’ve missed seeing people!!  Since we aren’t open yet, there is little reason for folks to come in so the interaction was wonderful and I found they were just delightful folks to share a visit.  I expect they will be great neighbors and friends based on my first impression!!  

Juls was having a tough week as she is just bored to tears.  We are trying to re-establish services for here in the State of Michigan, but until that happens, it’s hard to keep her interest with the type of work we are doing right now.  Laura will be starting a new position in a couple of weeks so I told them to take advantage of this time to run and visit our granddaughter Amy and our daughter, Jenna and her husband, Mike.  From the sounds of it, it was great timing, and re-fueled their mental tanks!!  How could this girl not make someone smile!! 

I always hope people don’t look at this blog as a “whining page” as much as a little insight into our journey.   We hope it helps potential guests get to know us a bit better.     We also hope it keeps our friends and family informed about our crazy journey!  It’s therapeutic to recap our week, and really reflect on what we’ve accomplished.  I’ve never kept a journal, so I hope we can use this to look back and enjoy what went in to making this dream a reality.  But it also serves as another important tool for us.  Getting people to click on our link to our website and this blog from other sources….Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. helps move our position up on Google Search.  So when you read this, you are helping us!  When you share this and others click on it, it helps us further!!  Every little bit helps and we have appreciated the feedback we’ve received along the way too!  Thanks to all of you who read, share, like our posts but also call to visit from time to time.


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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