Three years is a long time. That is how long Tim and Laura Eckart were looking before they found the perfect resort for them — Red Wing Lodge on Leech Lake. There were certain things that each was looking to have in a resort. Laura wanted a family-friendly resort and Red Wing Lodge offers that with the large sandy beach, lake level cabins and a lodge that creates a gathering place for their guests. Tim additionally wanted a resort with strong fishing and Leech Lake fits the bill. Leech Lake supports many types of fishing opportunities and is a recreational lake too. Red Wing Lodge’s protected harbor with 30 boat slips is a draw for those serious about fishing. Red Wing Lodge also offers 14 cabins and seven boat rentals. Tim noted that when he was younger he worked at a resort and guided some fishing and hunting trips. That was a great prerequisite for their new resort business. “One of the things that I am challenging myself with this first year is to get to know the many regular guests at Red Wing Lodge. Another challenge is to understand all the detailed processes that take place when operating a resort and develop new ones for things we want to change. It is going to be an interesting year,” said Tim. The previous owners ran the resort for 20 successful years and trained Tim and Laura after their new purchase. When looking for a resort they said it was important that they select the right realtor. After looking at different real estate agencies in the field, they selected Dan Houle, associate broker at Minnesota Resort Sales North, an associate member of the Leech Lake Chamber. The Eckarts are from Danbury, Wis., and have two children, ages 6 and 4. Laura will continue to teach in Wisconsin during the school season and work and live at the resort in the summer. At this time, Tim plans on keeping the resort open through the first week of October, depending on weather. Chamber employee Roxie Parks (left) hands the Eckart family their First Business Dollar.