West Wind Resort in Waskish is the Business of the Week
Nestled along the shore of Upper Red Lake sits good food and good hospitality -- West Wind Resort in Waskish.
The resort, is co-owned and operated by Judy and Tim Waldo and Barb and Marty Woltjer.
"Judy and I are sisters and it works well to have this place with family," Barb said. "March 3 will be our 10 year anniversary."
The idea for the couples to open a resort came after the local restaurant at the time, The Sunset Lodge, went out of business.
"Tim wanted us to buy Sunset because I had experience in the hospitality business," Barb said. "But, it just wasn't the right thing to do."
Ten years ago, when crappie fishing was peaking, swarms of fishermen were coming to the Waskish area with no place to eat or drink.
"We thought, we are going to open a restaurant," Barb said, "so we bought and cleared the land and the dining room and bar building went up first, which we had for about three or four years before expanding our resort."
Over time, as West Wind grew, a bait shop, marina, cabins and campground were established. West Wind has five cabins available and 20 fish houses on the lake -- all ranging in size -- that are setup with heat and holes, ready to be fished.
As the only full service resort on Upper Red Lake, Woltjer and the rest of the West Wind staff make it a point to ensure their customers enjoy their experience with the business.
"We take the time and make a point to get to know our customers and make sure they enjoy the time they spend with us," she said. "We buy quality food and have clean facilities, we want everyone that comes here to be happy."
According to Woltjer, each of the four owners has a speciality when it comes to running the resort.
"Marty runs the bait shop and cleans every night. He's the owner that stays with the employees -- absolutely nobody stays here alone. Tim runs the lake and helps cook. Judy, who is a retired teacher, does a lot work in the back and is truly a teacher to our staff and I do a lot of cooking," she said.
Overall, the goal of West Wind is to run strong for another 10 years and more.
Woltjer said, "We want people to come back. Without them, we don't have a business."