Sometimes I think my life is a perfect example of what Minnesota culture is. I grew up in a suburb of a large city with 2 very hardworking parents whose idea of a perfect vacation was staying at a resort on a lake near Canada for a week every summer. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of our time spent up there; fishing, hiking, tubing, bonfires, and way more delicious food than anybody should consume in a week. And if that’s not Minnesota enough for you, my parents loved this so much that they went and bought a resort of their own when I was 12, which has enabled my dad to achieve a lifelong dream.
Minnesota resorts have been a very central part of my life, which is why I’m so grateful for the fact that my family and I have been able to be a part of the Community of MN Resorts Day on the Hill recently. The 4 of us and a coach bus full of other resort owners from all over the state went down to the state capital to meet with senators and representatives to talk about and lobby for issues affecting our businesses, and it was a fascinating thing to be a part of.
At 24 years old, I was by far the youngest on the trip, and I think this experience will shape a lot of how I live my life in the future. I have always known the importance of fighting for what I believe in, and this experience has further solidified that in my mind. Out of over 700+ resorts in the entire state of Minnesota, there were only about 25 of us willing and able to go and speak with important people who can actually affect change in the laws that matter to our industry. I am proud to be in that minority, and I am proud to be a part of this amazing resort business that not only provides so much happiness for people, but also tells the rest of the world what Minnesota is all about. It is the one solid theme that has defined my life and will carry into my future, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to help advocate for all of us resort owners and their families who work so damn hard to help keep resorts and the lake life a part of Minnesota’s identity. I love having something to fight for, and I hope more people realize the importance of that.