Meet your hosts!
Dave and Diane Gooden purchased Everett Bay Lodge in May 2000. The transaction closed just a week before Fishing Opener. Diane grew up coming to Minnesota for a two week family vacation every summer. Her parents often talked about owning a Minnesota resort. Dave and Diane were the ones to take the plunge.
Attending high school in Indiana they both received undergraduate degrees from Ball State University. Dave worked in investments, completing his CFA designation and his I.U. MBA. Diane worked as a Long Term Care Administrator while going to graduate school to complete her I.U. MHA. She became the Director of TQM for a large long term care organization. She eventually joined the faculty at Ball State University, in the Management Department of the College of Business.
While they both enjoyed their careers both of their employers were being sold. They decided they wanted to have more control over their future. Days after a deal to purchase a golf course in Indiana went awry, Dave stumbled upon a website listing resorts for sale. The seed was planted. They both enjoyed their annual fishing trip to Minnesota, a tradition they continued with their own family – and love to fish and became intrigued to learn more about the industry.
They looked at well over a dozen different Minnesota resorts. Everett Bay Lodge on Lake Vermilion was just what they were looking for. It was the perfect blend – an excellent fishing lake and the right size property. Ten cabins right on the shore of one of Minnesota’s best lakes – it doesn’t get any better. They sought a place where guests could make fishing the primary focus of their trip or add a more family-friendly resort experience taking advantage of all the amenities the resort and area offer.
The resort features a heated pool/sauna, a playground, an awesome variety of boat rentals, reserved docking, WIFI & Satellite TV, water toys and more. Guests are able to fish the bay or head down to Big Bay and travel either direction to explore the beauty of Lake Vermilion. Several restaurants are within a few minutes and Fortune Bay Casino and The Wilderness at Fortune Bay (golf course) are just across the bay, making the resort location perfect for vacationers.
The entire Gooden family has been involved in the resort. Eric and Valerie have played a big role in the daily operations of the resort. Their springs and summers have been filled with the plentiful start up duties, routine Saturday cleaning, lawn work, trash duty and probably the most beneficial to their futures… customer service. One MN Gopher graduate – another in the works.
Their approach to operating the business has been to look for ways to improve each and every season and to stay the course. Their prior professional experience in continuous quality improvement carries over well to the resort business.
Over the years the winters afforded them the opportunity to spend lots of time enjoying Eric and Val’s involvement in hockey. Ironically, Everett Bay Lodge has historic ties to Minnesota Gopher Hockey and the Chicago Blackhawks. See the details here: https://www.everettbaylodge.com/emil-iverson-mn-gophers-chicago-blackhawks-coach-everett-bay-lodge/ and https://www.everettbaylodge.com/chapter-2-of-the-emil-iverson-gophers-blackhawks-history-lesson/
“Welcoming back returning guests and meeting new friends is the best and most rewarding part of operating the resort.” They enjoy the lessons they have learned over the years and appreciate the memories their guests have shared with them Engagements, honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays… first fish, biggest fish. The resort is small enough for them to have plenty of contact with guests, yet large enough to offer the variety of amenities and services guests enjoy.
While there is plenty to do and never a dull day, who wouldn’t love living in the northwoods? Whether sneaking out for a run up the road or finding a window for a nice bike ride (the area is great for biking if you like to pedal some distance) the resort life can’t be beat. Most importantly, Lake Vermilion is an angler’s paradise — they occasionally head out to wet a line if an evening presents the chance — and they love sharing their fishing tips, area information and most importantly, Lake Vermilion with others!