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East Silent Lake Resort celebrates groundbreaking

A September groundbreaking ceremony featured members of the Leonard family. Back row, left to right, are: Kristin, Caroline, and Andy Leonard. Front row: Louis and Maggie Leonard. Submitted photo1 / 2
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The Leonard family, owners of East Silent Lake Resort in Dent, has spent the past 11 months celebrating the resort’s centennial.

To celebrate the milestone, the Leonards organized many special events and novelties. According to the resort’s co-owner, Andy Leonard, “We tried to identify opportunities to thank our many loyal guests and business partners.”

While it has been a jam-packed year, the Leonards had more news: “We are pleased to announce that construction recently began on our new lodge and eatery,” said Leonard.

The new lodge promises to be a special amenity for both resort guests and local residents alike. In addition to guest services, the 8,000-square-foot lodge will feature a three-bedroom/two-bathroom ADA-compliant rental, recreational areas, space for special events and banquets, as well as a small eatery.

“It is a large project, but we fully intend to be open in the spring,” Leonard said.

The expansion project is employing local contractors, and is being managed by Andy Pettow Construction of Perham.

The new lodge and restaurant is a necessary amenity for the growing resort.

“While we are proud of our heritage and grateful for the past 100 years, we are simultaneously planning for the next century,” Leonard said. “We are committed to preserving the family resort experience for generations to come. However, to do so requires a new approach to resort ownership and management.”

Over the past year, East Silent Resort offered regular “100th anniversary” lodging specials, held several special events, and produced commemorative clothing and merchandise.

“Hands down, the weekly medallion hunt was the highlight,” said Leonard.

Another event included an educational presentation by Chris Schuelke and the Otter Tail County Historical Society. The presentation and social focused on the history of resorts and camps in Otter Tail County.

“It was an opportunity to celebrate the resort and tourism industry in Otter Tail County,” Leonard said.

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