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Why Did We Buy a Resort?

"Why did you buy a resort?"  Mike and I have gotten this question a lot over the last year.  We realized that there isn't a quick or easy answer to this question.  Owning a resort wasn't part of our long-term plan but we are definitely becoming better at trusting the journey and following our guts.  Warning, I'm going to tell the long story of how we got to this newest adventure (feel free to stop reading now if this doesn't interest you).  

This story starts more than a decade ago.  Mike and I were living in Deerfield, we both worked hard and were successful in our careers.  Our offices were a couple blocks apart in Chicago's financial district.  We were also expecting our first child... we made plenty of money to hire full time child care and continue following our successful career paths but something shifted in both of us.  Months into interviewing child care providers, we just couldn't make a decision that made us happy.  After much discussion, I convinced Mike to take a break from his career and stay home with our baby.   This was our first major "what's the worst thing that can happen?" discussion.  Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying" became my theme song and I made Mike listen to it constantly (it drove him crazy 😂).   I tell this story because I know it was a pivotal moment in our lives.  It was the first time that we decided not to make the "safe" decision and follow our guts. 

Over the next decade, we made many more "what's the worst thing that can happen?" decisions.  Two years later, we moved to Libertyville, our second child was born, and Mike decided to restart his career.  Six months later, I jumped off the cliff and left my cushy corporate job to stay home with Jack and Cassie.  Mike was building his new business and I started my own small business.   We worked like crazy but were always there for our kids.  They grew up "working" with us and have learned a ton along the way.  It may not be the most conventional way to raise children but it has worked for us.

Mike spent years building his own financial advisory practice.  I ran kids consignment events and later an online resale store.  We sold a house that was too big for us, moved to an amazing new community in Grayslake, bought an RV, traveled the country, bought a commercial building, and opened a resale store.... all of these decisions started with "what's the worst thing that can happen?"

Unfortunately, in 2017, we were in Las Vegas during the mass shooting.  It was traumatic and not something that I would wish on anyone, but I do believe that it was another pivotal point in our lives.  It truly makes us live for today and every word of my favorite Tim McGraw song is even more meaningful.  

We've been fortunate to travel quite a bit since we met in 1999.  During these travels we've talked about buying a vacation home in many different locations.  In 2016, we decided to buy a vacation home on wheels and hit the road.  The first time we truly wanted to own a piece of property (that wasn't on wheels) was in Big Sky Montana.  It was one of the most peaceful, beautiful places in the world and we could literally feel the stress melt away.  We spoke to a realtor, and after much discussion realized that at this point in our lives, the distance just wasn't feasible.

I think it is important to know this backstory as we answer the question "Why did you buy a resort?"  It was not something that we planned for, or even knew that we wanted, but we decided to follow our guts and ask each other "what's the worst thing that can happen?"

In 2018, we drove the RV to Manistique, Michigan to visit family who were staying at Indian Lake Resort.  Manistique has always been close to my heart as our family has owned property up there for over 50 years.  It had been years since I visited, and I immediately felt the stress melt away as we drove into town (it was the same feeling that I had in Montana with the added benefit of only being 5.5 hours from home).  

Amazingly, even though I had been away for years, nothing had changed!  In this day and age, it is almost impossible to relive a childhood vacation with our kids.  We've been to many locations with the kids and say "when I was a kid" explaining how the town has changed...  Not Manistique!  It still has the Ben Franklin store where we bought our craft supplies and the Big Boy restaurant.  Indian Lake is still the amazing lake that I remembered enjoying as a child.

While watching our kids swim in the lake that generations of our family have enjoyed, we discovered that the Indian Lake Resort property was for sale!  My gut and heart took over, and while we were not in the market for lakefront property (or another business venture), I couldn't get it out of my mind...  I could see our family enjoying the property for the rest of our lives.  Surprisingly, Mike didn't think I was crazy and could see the same potential that I was seeing.  My dad and Terri jumped on board supporting the conversation and envisioning themselves spending their summers on the lake.  It quickly became another "what's the worst thing that can happen?" discussion. 

Six months later, we closed on the resort and our adventure began!  It has truly been life changing and we are learning every day to trust the journey (and to listen to our guts).  After spending most of the summer in Manistique, I've fallen in love and have decided to free up my life to be able to spend more time up there.  Recently, we sold our resale store and our commercial building so that we could focus on and enjoy this next chapter.  Life is about taking chances and allowing the story to unfold.  Our newest adventure is in full swing and we don't want to miss a minute of it!  

We hope you'll continue to follow our blog and see what we have in store.  2019 was our first year owning Indian Lake Resort and we have amazing ideas for the future of this passion project!  Follow our progress as we create a resort for families to enjoy for years to come.  Our goal is to show our visitors how to step back and enjoy a simpler time.  

Indian Lake Resort is about creating memories and experiences that are not centered around technology.  Swim in the lake, take your kids fishing, watch a beautiful sunset, roast marshmallows, watch the stars, see the northern lights, eat outside, talk to each other, play a board game, ride a kayak, visit amazing parks, shop at farmers' market, eat a fish fry, and soon.... rent a vintage boat to tool around the lake (stay tuned to our blog for more details!).

In summary, we bought a resort because you only live once.  We don't want to look back and say "we should have..." or "what if we had...".  Mike and I try to live every day following our guts and saying "what's the worst thing that can happen?"

Here are pictures of our visit in 2018 (before we bought the resort).  As you can see, we still have many family members who have been enjoying this amazing place for years and years.  We hope you'll visit us soon and see "Why we Bought a Resort".  😊

















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