July 2, 2004 at 12:33 p.m.
He mulled over one particular idea for quite some time before he ever turned the first shovel of earth at the west end of Lindstrom. Yes, it’s Robbe behind all that activity on the lakeside, by the Dinnerbel on the edge of Highway 8. He’s assembled the marina, the cupola-shaped reservation hut and that concrete wall on the hillside; which will be a colorfully-tiled, lit fountain with the harbour name at the base. (The structure is also set on extra-deep footings to help support the bluff.)
Robbe is a congenial sort and obviously enjoys talking about pursuing this dream-- he’s into his next chain-of-thought before he wraps up the previous one.
As organized and focused as he is, he still hasn’t quit his day job. He’s grateful his sister moved here to lend a hand; even putting in flexible office hours he can’t get to the harbour until noon. Between working with the city on permits for the land-based portion of the business and getting the marina operation approved through the Department of Natural Resources, he’s been at this already for over a year.
Robbe explained, “I’m a water person, I have to think there are other people who are like me.”
He has lived on Kroon Lake, south of Lindstrom, for years and always saw potential for the bay where he now practically lives-- at least until things get rolling. With this rainy and abnormally chilly summer so far, there haven’t been many of those “gotta get out on the lake” days.
Robbe leases the site from the Dinnerbel and has a relationship with the bar/ restaurant as far as facilities and food. But, the harbour is his responsibility and he takes it seriously. For starters there are really nice pontoon and fishing boats to be rented. One pontoon is affectionately called the “limo.”
He’s operating the Peninsula Queen (the party barge) and hopes to have either live music on board, or for people to listen to at lakeside. The sand from the old voleyball court was moved to the shoreline and there are tables and chairs to relax in.
And, of course anyone can dock their own boat there and head into the Dinnerbel, or order a burger and a drink from the barkeep at the dock.
For non-motorized lake lovers there are paddleboats and kayaks for rent.
Slips are also available for the season, about half the one dozen slips have already been spoken for.
Robbe is wooing clientele from the Twin Cities, where he said he’s been target marketing to corporate entities, and expects customers from nearby. He is pretty sure there’s enough lake lovers to go around.
Robbe’s goal is to create a place with character, superior service and an atmosphere emulating classic resort-beach destinations, spots he’s visited and enjoyed.
He also hopes the availability of boats and improved access to the water spurs new enterprises in Lindstrom, or at least helps bring people in to the existing ones, ie: bait shops.
He vows to do whatever it takes to make this harbour a success.
“If you want to get out on the water by sun-up to go fishing, I’ll make sure there’s somebody here to give you the (motor) key and help you carry your gear down to the dock,” he promised. Staff can orient boaters to the lakes layout and familiarize you with your vessel of choice.
All you have to do is enjoy over 1,000 acres of water available and get the boat back by dark.
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