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East Silent Lake Resort celebrates 100 years

Eric Hendrickx/FOCUS In addition to the activi-ties and games on the grounds of East Silent Lake Resort, guests can also rent numerous styles of boats as well as enjoy the inflatable water toys just out from the sand beach.

With roots dating back to 1915, East Silent Lake Resort shows no signs of slowing down at the spry young age of 100.

Nick Leonard, owner for the last 10 years, has a business model described as, “full steam ahead” for recent improvements and additions in the years coming.

The resort sits on 50 acres of land on the north side of East Silent Lake, near Dent.

“Even though we do have plans for expansion and additions, we will never develop more than 10 of our 50 acres,” said Leonard. “People come here to experience lake living and the great outdoors and we plan to keep that for our guests.”

Described as being in the early stages of a 15-year plan, East Silent Lake Resort will soon quietly transform into a more modern, accommodative resort.

Within the last couple years, the Leonard family has added 3 large cabins, a pavilion and a walking path, which doubles as a ground water retaining wall.

“Currently our three new, large cabins are 3 bedroom, 3 bath cabins with room for an entire large family or even an extended family enjoying a week with us,” said Leonard.

The resort prides itself on offering cabins of all sizes, to accommodate any size gathering; from a single couple, to a large family weekend get-together.

These new cabins are named after Minnesota State Parks: Itasca, Maplewood and Whitewater.

In addition to the physical structures, cabin rentals are now also offered in a new way, called “fractional ownership.” In this way, the resort cabins can be divided equally for a quarter of the year.

“There is a definite shift in what people are wanting out of their summer resorts,” said Leonard. “People want more time and more ownership in their vacations and fractional ownership is shaping up like a great way to accommodate our clients’ wants.”

With this plan, a property is divided in quarters. Four individuals or families will own that property of the resort, but all maintenance and upkeep will still be handled by resort staff.

Each month will be divided into four weeks. Each owner will get their respective week (the first week of each month, for example) to enjoy the resort for a total of 13 weeks each year. Unused weeks can be rented out to others as well.

The next chunk of the plan for East Silent Lake Resort is a two-tiered plan of attack.

The first phase will focus on constructing a new main lodge and lobby, along with a paved road and new lake cabins on the northwest section of the grounds.

The lodge will be more spacious and include a fitness center, meeting spaces and a restaurant.

With this addition, there will be a community room capable of seating 100 people.

The current lodge will be added on to the rental cabin above, raising its capacity to 20 people.

This phase is scheduled for groundbreaking this fall, with plans of completion before next summer.

The second part of this expansion includes an indoor, heated pool to be connected to the new lodge.

“Our new lodge will be much larger, and in the middle of everything,” explained Leonard.

In the center of the soon to be added cabins, will be a recreational area for all guests to enjoy. Plans call for adding mini golf, basketball and volleyball courts in the near future.

“We have noticed that there is a new generation of vacationers coming to Minnesota lake resorts,” said Leonard. “People are requesting more things to do other than just being out on the water. If you look at the number of families visiting us, the percent of them coming without a boat of any kind or jet ski has increased tenfold.”

 To accommodate this new trend, East Silent Lake Resort offers many types of boat rentals, along with already-inflated water toys.

Although the resort will be undergoing a facelift in the coming years, Leonard is adamant that they will stay true to its roots, providing a great resort for anyone wanting to get away and enjoy all that Lakes Country has to offer.