ELLISON BAY, Wis. (WFRV)- After a fire on Tuesday devastated Rowleys Bay Resort in Ellison Bay, the owner was devastated.
The resort, which many have said is a staple of Door County, was purchased in the 1970s’ by Jewel Peterson Ouradnik’s family when she was just eight years old. The new owner of the resort, Ouradnik, says she is feeling “sad” after a fire burned down some rooms and the bakery.
“It’s one day at a time. We really don’t know. Right now, we just need to get with the professionals to help us making plans for building again,” Ouradnik says.
The cause of the fire is currently unknown, but Ouradnik says the fire started in the basement. The people who have booked reservations at the resort will receive refunds, and Destination Door County is helping some folks find another place to stay.
Chief Communications Officer Jon Jarosh says, “As we get into the busy fall season here in Door County, [we’re] trying to pick up those reservations for folks that had plans to stay there, and so we’ll see how that shakes out.”
As for Rowleys Bay staff, J1 students have all found new employment with the help of their sponsors. The rest of the employees either chose to stay or find a new place to work.
Ouradnik says, “Employees in general, we’ve been looking for jobs for them as well. We do have some that we are going to keep on board because there’s so much we need to do now.”
Even though it will take time to rebuild what was lost, Ouradnik says she appreciates everyone who has come to rally around Rowleys.
“Grateful for our community. Door County is a great place to live, work, and have our businesses. It makes you realize once you go through something like this how much your community really supports you,” Ouradnik says.
She hopes to have the resort back up and running by spring. If you have any questions about a reservation or are looking to support the resort, you can email them at