When Cami Calhoun was a little girl, her family visited the Alexandria Lakes Area every summer. One particular summer, her mother was unhappy with where they were staying and moved the family midweek to Geneva Beach Resort.
That was 30 years ago, and every summer since during the same week each year, the family has vacationed at that same resort.
Now, three decades later, Cami and her husband, Craig – who has vacationed with the family at Geneva Beach Resort the past 15 years – own the resort.
They moved their family – including their two children, Brynlee, 5, and Carter, 7 – from the Des Moines area, where Cami was an elementary teacher and Craig a high school principal.
“It was always hard to leave and go back home after vacation,” said Craig, whose idea it was to purchase the resort.
Craig said that although he loved his job, he was getting a little burned out and also wanted to start spending more time with his own kids.
When he was younger, Craig used to vacation in Canada with his grandpa and thought it would be a great idea to buy a resort someday. However, the area in Canada they stayed at was a little too remote for Cami.
When he saw that Geneva Beach Resort was up for sale, he thought it would be a great way to fulfill his dream. Seeing families having so much fun each summer resonated with him and after their week-long vacation every year, he couldn’t wait to come back the next year.
While out to dinner in Duluth, Craig told his wife about his idea to buy Geneva Beach Resort and said, “Let’s just look into it.”
By the following week, Cami was definitely on board, Craig said. She was the one who started pushing and kept asking him questions about talking to the bank and getting everything figured out.
Before long, the deal was made. The night they moved in, it already felt like they were home. They knew then it was the right decision.
Shortly after taking over, Cami and Craig had to leave the resort for a few days and found it harder than expected.
“I felt like we were leaving our baby,” Craig said. “It’s amazing how quickly we got attached.”
Cami believes that purchasing from the Aarsvolds, as well as buying a place she grew up at, made the move so much easier.
“They (Tim and Carolyn) laid it all out for us. They did a lot of prep work,” said Cami. “What Tim and Carolyn have done with this place, it’s just amazing. It’s an incredible resort. We are so fortunate to have stepped into what they built.”
Cami admitted there was some hesitation about leaving Des Moines. However, after being here full-time for less than four months, the hesitation and nervousness has gone away.
“It’s a great area, very pleasant,” she said. “I am impressed with the schools and the local businesses. The downtown area is great.”
Carrying on the rich traditions of the second-oldest resort in the state means a lot to both Cami and Craig, and they are looking forward to becoming part of the area.
“We want to get involved when we can, help when we can and give back when we can,” he said.