By Kellie Trudeau, Reporter
Owning a lake resort is something new and exciting for Jason Kono and Casey Zejdlik, Principals at Pilot Ventures, a real estate company that recently purchased Winona Beach Resort at Waitts Lake this past February.
Both partners have young families and understand the draw of the lake for other families and anyone else looking for a nice place to enjoy the outdoors. They appreciate the lifelong memories that can be made spending time at a place like Winona Beach Resort, especially in an area that has so many options for different types of recreational activities.
Upon his first visit to Winona Beach, a resort tucked away off the main lake road and established in 1925, Kono said he could tell it was a very special place with a lot of history he could appreciate. “We were struck by how beautiful Waitts Lake is. The more we got to understand the history of the resort and the lake, the more we thought it would be a cool and fun property to own. Owning a property where the goal is fun and enjoyment was really appealing.”
Winona Beach Resort has many opportunities for day use, weekenders, and seasonal guests. There are eight cabins of various sizes, waterfront tent sites, and over 80 RV sites with full power and water hook up. The resort also offers fire pits, public showers, and a basketball court to guests. Day-use passes are also available for those interested in visiting for a fun day of swimming or fishing at the beach which includes multiple large docks and a boat launch. The store offers a variety of fishing gear and other essentials, and also rents recreational equipment such as boats, paddle boards, and pedal boats. There is also a restaurant counter that offers several easy to-go options like breakfast sandwiches, pizza, and cheeseburgers.
New manager Brook Weisner said resort operations will remain the same this year – as the frequent guests will be familiar with – although the general store and restaurant kitchen underwent recent cosmetic improvements including new flooring and new exterior paint and woodwork. Kono said there will be more improvements coming in 2022 and further expansion possibilities in future years with 25 unimproved acres acquired in the purchase.
“Our goal is to do our best to retain what is special about Winona while also giving the property some long overdue attention,” Kono said. “The property is nearly 100 years old and has a lot of deferred maintenance. We want to bring it back to its former glory and make it someplace that people are proud to be a part of, excited to visit and where guests can tell the ownership really cares about their experience.”
For more information, contact Winona Beach by phone at 509-937-2231, or visit Winona Beach Resort on Facebook and Instagram. The website is currently under construction, but once it goes live, info will be available at www.winonabeachresort.com.