Minnesota's Thumper Pond resort sold, new owners plan upgrades

The 250-acre Thumper Pond Golf Resort in Ottertail, Minn., has been purchased by Madison Hospitality Group LLC, based in Brainerd, Minn.

Bill Schultz, vice president of Madison Hospitality Group, said the organization plans to invest more than a half-million dollars into the resort and move it forward following a $13.4 million foreclosure involving its original developers in 2004.

The most significant change will be the construction of a 190-seat, first-floor restaurant, bar and outdoor patio area that is currently under way, Schultz said.

“We’re going to do some general improvements throughout the resort with just kind of a finished look. The resort never quite got finished,” he said.

Improvements will also be made to the golf course, water park and 30 real estate lots, he said.

Thumper Pond employs about 150 people during the height of its season and 80 to 90 during the off-season, Schultz said.

Madison Hospitality became involved in managing the property for the original owners in December 2006 and was retained after the foreclosure by Spire Credit Union of St. Paul, which refinanced Thumper Pond’s loans, Schultz said.

“We have the opportunity now to kind of reset it and capitalize it well enough for the future,” he said. “We’re out there repositioning it with a whole new marketing campaign and doing some of the improvements that we feel necessary to make sure that it moves into the future in a positive manner.”

Thumper Pond offers an 18-hole championship golf course with 78 guest rooms, a water park and a 400-seat conference center a short distance from Otter Tail Lake.

Madison Hospitality Group operates the Holiday Inn, Rudy’s Red Eye Grill and Culver’s Restaurant in Alexandria, Minn., Grand Ely Lodge in Ely, Minn., and Le Bourget Aero Suites in Bloomington, Minn.

Published by:  Prairie Business