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Krafts honored as Operators of the Year

The Minnesota Resort and Campground Association recently named Harold and Rosemarie Kraft from Canary Beach Resort in Villard 2016 Operators of the Year. The award was presented during the association's Fall Conference Oct. 25-27 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria.

The Operator of the Year award recognizes leadership and excellence in areas such as management ability, active participation in tourism-related local/state organizations, community leadership and other criteria.

The Krafts are on "chapter two" of their career in the resort industry. They purchased Train Bell Resort in Merrifield, which included 10 small cabins. They remodeled the cabins and landscaped the grounds, built four villas and a six-bedroom lodge, which gave guests more accommodation options.

They predetermined that 10 years was the maximum time they would operate a resort, so in 2000, they sold it and retired. Three years later, they were itching to get back in the business. In 2003, they purchased Canary Beach Resort, about 22 miles south of Alexandria.

Harold focuses on building projects and greeting guests while Rosemarie is in charge of decorating and getting the units ready for occupancy. They have built a new lodge along with two-level vacation homes, added campsites and expanded the property. Next year they plan to replace two small cabins with more vacation homes.

Their daughter, Christine, and her husband, Scott, also help manage the resort.