Timber Bay Lodge & Houseboats is pleased to report that owner Ron Rykken has been named 2012 “Operator of the Year” by the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association. The announcement was made October 24 during the organization’s Fall Conference.
Located just outside Ely, MN, Timber Bay has been in in the Rykken Family since 1979. Ron’s parents purchased the year after he graduated from Bloomington Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minnesota. Ron immediately began working at Timber Bay Lodge & Houseboats during summers, weekends and even during the school year while he attended first Hamline University, ultimately graduating from University of Minnesota, Duluth.
After graduation, Ron used his summers to help at the resort and in the winter, took up jobs in construction and driving delivery trucks. Ron married his college sweetheart, Beth, in 1987 and settled in northern Minnesota. In 2000, he and Beth, with daughters Cortney and Bailey, purchased Timber Bay from his parents.
The Timber Bay operation includes 13 cabins and 13 houseboats. In the past few years, the Rykkens have added larger boats, as well as a 6+ bedroom year-round cabin. In April of last year an early morning fire tragically destroyed the resort’s main lodge, which the family lived in during the summer.
Outside of the resort, Ron keeps busy with his family and his community. He has served as a volunteer EMT on the Babbitt Fire and Ambulance Department for almost 25 years. He coached Girls Hockey for almost 10 years, earning the honor of “Assistant Coach of the Year” in Section 7 twice. He also served as President of East Range Athletics for more than five years. Ron gives of his time generously on the Ely Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee and the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association. Ron joined the Minnesota Resort & Campground Association board in 2001, served as president in 2009 and continues to serve today.
Having worked alongside his parents for 20 years, Ron is always proud to say he is a second-generation resorter. And now he can say he is a second generation Operator of the Year. John received this same award back in 1998. After receiving the award, Ron thanked his family for always supporting him, saying “I love the resorting lifestyle. Even after all these years, we’re still having fun.”
Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats is located on Birch Lake near Ely Minnesota and the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area (BWCA). It is a completely modern resort (with both cabins and houseboats!) located deep in the heart of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota among towering Norway pines, birch, and spruce trees, designed to satisfy the vacation dreams of your entire family or fishing group. Here in a park-like setting you will find comfortable log-sided cabins with wood burning fireplaces, large decks and beautiful lake views.
According to the calendar, we have a few more weeks of fall but for most of us it feels like autumn. The kids are back in school. The mornings are getting cooler. The sunset is happening earlier. Now is a perfect time to think about how you’re going to celebrate the season.
The trees aren’t quite turning colors yet – but it won’t be long. Soon we’ll be tracking the fall color progression. We’ll try to post updates on Facebook for you. If you plan to bring a big group, it’s not to early to let us know you’re plans; otherwise you can always check online for availability. It’s always nice to get a long weekend in before winter hits.
Speaking of Winter
The Bear Trap
The Bear Trap is a fantastic place to take your family (and/or friends) for the holidays. With 6 rooms it sleeps 12-18. There are 4 bathrooms for privacy and a great room for community. The view of the lake is spectacular. If you are thinking about the Bear Trap for the holidays, please let us know. It usually fills quickly for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. It’s also great for an extended family vacation, hunting weekend or girls getaway retreat – so again please check online for availability other weekends. Learn more:http://www.timberbay.com/bear_trap.html
Hope to see you soon! The Rykken’s
Sick of the heat, the work, the bored kids, the same old? We’re enjoying the summer on Birch Lake…
Please check the web site for availability: http://timberbay.com/
So we have some good news and some bad news. First the good news, we now have a much better view of the lake from the office. The bad news? On April 14, the lodge (cabin we live in during summer) burnt down. We had not yet moved out there. No one was hurt, but the cabin is total loss.
Again, no one was hurt and we’re counting our blessings. But we wanted to share the news and pictures with our family and guests. More importantly we want you to know that we plan to open next month as usual.
And our view of the lake – it’s beautiful!
Timber Bay Lodge & Houseboat, located outside Ely, Minnesota is excited to unveil their newest houseboat! It’s a 50 foot boat and has been docked in Birch Lake in Babbitt, Minnesota. It is available for vacationers looking for a unique vacation idea in Northern Minnesota. Houseboat vacations are perfect for anyone who enjoys water sports, including fishing, swimming or just sun bathing.
The new acquisition is a Premier 50’ Wide body style Houseboat with a fly bridge steering , so you can steer the boat from the top deck. There’s a great water slide, which is fun for kids and grownups alike. The houseboat sleeps up to 6 people comfortably and even includes a TV/DVD so you can enjoy a movie night on the lake. Please check the Timber Bay Lodge & Houseboat web site for costs and availability: http://www.timberbay.com/newboat.html
Timber Bay Lodge and Houseboats is located on Birch Lake near Ely Minnesota and the Boundary Waters Wilderness Canoe Area (BWCA). We are a completely modern resort located deep in the heart of the Superior National Forest in Minnesota among towering Norway pines, birch, and spruce trees, designed to satisfy the vacation dreams of your entire family or fishing group. Here in a park-like setting you will find comfortable log-sided cabins with wood burning fireplaces, large decks and beautiful lake views. We feature a full service marina, safe sandy swim beach, a variety of recreational opportunities as well as organized children’s activities and naturalists programs.
We had a couple get engaged at the resort last summer. The boyfriend (well, not to ruin the story but we’ll call him the Groom) had us help him arrange it a month ahead of time…
The Groom and his family and girlfriend were going on a houseboat trip for a week. His girlfriend had received a parking ticket earlier in the summer.
We arranged for a friend of ours to pull up to the houseboat and pretend to be checking license and fish counts. No one on the boat knew what was going on except for the Groom. We had it arranged for Wednesday around noon. That morning the Groom called into the resort that morning to let us know what island they
So our friend, the license inspector, sees them and asks for all the fishing licenses. When he reviews the girlfriend’s license he says that there was a problem….. she had an unpaid ticket and that she was really in trouble.
Then the Groom says something to the effect that he can help her with this problem – try to clear things up – but then says she’ll owe him for a long time and proposes to her.
Talk about the catch of the day!
Thanks to Jon Heenan for his kids word in Houseboats Magazine:
We spent four fantastic days as far as road will take you in Minnesota. The place: Ely, Minn.
We rented out houseboat from Timber Bay Houseboats on Birch Lake. A great family runs this operation! This location is the Boundary Waters Canoe area…
We had a big Adventure…
He also included some fun pictures.
At Timber Bay Lodge & Houseboats we’re building a new houseboat – well we’re not actually building it but we’re having someone build it.
All we can tell you right now it that it will be 52 foot. We’ll work on getting some pictures of the boat in process to show you how it’s going.
I ran across a nice article today in Minnesota Monthly on Minnesota houseboat vacations.
While we wished they mentioned Timberbay Houseboats more often – we do enjoy the article. They do a nice job of describing how relaxing a vacation on the water can be especially in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.