Private estate becomes luxurious get away
Nestled in the lush landscape of western Douglas County, the new owners of a lavishly unique estate are opening the property for others to experience a lakeside getaway.
Keith and Annette Byman of Omaha, Nebraska, bought the luxurious Brentwood Estate last December.
Brentwood is a private, 45-acre property, located north of Garfield on the north side of Big Chippewa Lake.
The gated-estate features a main lodge, three luxury lake homes, an additional suite and apartment.
It’s a property with an abundance of amenities – like the state-of-the-art movie theater, manicured nature trails, indoor pool and spa and marina of boats and watercraft.
Like most people who drive or float by the estate, the Bymans were also wowed.
“The first time we saw Brentwood from the lake, we just marveled at what a beautiful property it was,” Keith told the Echo Press. “Now, 18 years later, we were thrilled with the opportunity to purchase it.”
For years, the Bymans rented a little home on Big Chippewa Lake when their three boys were growing up.
“We’d spend our summers at the lake and we just fell in love with it,” Annette said.
Now, as they’re approaching retirement, Annette said their focus in life is naturally changing.
“We just really felt a calling to come back to this area and spend part of our lives up here. I think it’s all the years we spent here and all the memories made with our children,” Annette said.
“The timing was perfect for us,” Keith added. “We love the Alexandria area, we love Big Chippewa Lake and we’re thrilled to be back.
“And we hope our kids come see us a lot. That was our primary reason for buying Brentwood. It was to purchase a place that we could build more family memories for many years to come,” he added.
Renting out the estate was actually an afterthought for the Bymans.
Keith said, “It’s like, we bought Brentwood, now what are we going to do with four big houses?”
But, as they got to know the property, Annette said, “We could really see value in using the property seasonally and offering wonderful family vacations like we used to have on this lake years ago.
“We saw a number of opportunities that we could offer the Alexandria area – something different, something unique,” she said.
The Bymans invite guests to enjoy Brentwood as a unique getaway and experience of being removed from the rest of the world.
“I connect with the environmental part of it,” Annette said. “It’s a very peaceful, serene atmosphere that is absolutely beautiful. That’s really what we fell in love with.
“The views and just the connection you can make with nature is very unique here,” she said.
The three lake homes are fully furnished and, at capacity, the estate can host 43 people.
Then there are the natural elements of Brentwood. They mirror the lake homes’ significant quality.
Particularly the spiritual elements that mix with nature like the Rosary Path, Fourteen Stations of the Cross and stained-glass inlays located along the trails on the property.
There’s no shortage of opportunities to make memories. Amenities include waterskiing, jet skis, camp fires, fishing, swimming, volleyball, tennis, grilling, horseshoes, shuffleboard, ping pong, billiard and more… like the 1950s malt shop decked out in retro décor serving up ice cream treats during summer afternoons.
“We really wanted to create a situation where when people come here and rent from us, we’re not charging them extra for this and that,” Keith said.
“When our guests arrive, they get golf carts to cruise around on all week. They’ve got five motorized boats in addition to multiple kayaks, canoes, paddleboats and that’s just all theirs to use at no additional charge.
“If you’re a family that doesn’t do a lot of Minnesota vacationing, the worst thing you can do is vacation on a Minnesota lake for a week and watch everybody else boating… and you’re sitting on shore without a boat, wakeboard, waterskis or tubes. When you show up here, you don’t have to bring those things, or even your tennis racquet or volleyball, it’s all here. Just come have fun,” he said.
Since the Bymans started taking reservations earlier this spring, Brentwood is already about 40 percent booked for the summer, Annette said. “We still have room for more bookings, but we’re very pleased with how many have come in,” she added
Brentwood is, of course, available for family vacations, but the owners are also renting out the property for faith-based and corporate retreats, destination weddings and other celebrations like anniversaries and graduation parties.
Brentwood will be a seasonal destination, available for weekly rentals April through November.
“After their time here, we hope guests walk away saying it was the best vacation they’ve ever had. We’re hoping to create that really important family time,” Annette said, “and keep coming back year after year.”
Details about Brentwood Estate are available online at www.brentwoodmn.com.
ABOUT THE BYMANS
The Bymans have lived in Omaha for the last 15 years. Before that they lived in California and Iowa.
This summer, Keith and Annette will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They have three sons, Brad and wife, Kelsey; Brett and Bryce.
Keith is originally from Wheaton and has family in the Alexandria area.
Annette is from Hebron, North Dakota and a retired dental hygienist.
“We got into a niche business,” Keith explained. “Living in Iowa and Nebraska – a couple states that really encourage and support entrepreneurship – we started a janitorial cleaning business that specializes in interstate rest areas. For the last 20 years, we’ve had contracts with the Iowa Department of Transportation and the Nebraska Department of Roads. Along with family members, we are currently the largest rest area contractors in both Iowa and Nebraska. That’s been our main business.”
Annette added, “We’re the type of people who have an outlook on life that you can’t take anything for granted. You appreciate where life is taking you and you make the best of it.”
The Bymans said they’re looking forward to becoming residents of the lakes area.
“We’re excited to become chamber members, get to know the community more and we just really do hope that we can help bring some business to the area. We like to be involved. Getting to know the community and getting to know people will be important to us,” Annette said