DOOR COUNTY, Wis. (WFRV) – The owners of Rowleys Bay Resort in Ellison Bay have decided against rebuilding after a fire destroyed part of the resort last month.
In a message posted on the resorts Facebook page, the owners Jewel and Bob Ouradnik wrote that they fully intended to ‘repair and rebuild’ after the fire. However, after some deep reflection they had a change of heart.
“We have been asking God to direct our path and help us to see what His plans are for us,” wrote the Ouradniks. “The message is becoming more and more clear to us – it is time for someone else to carry on and build their own dreams. We will not be rebuilding.”
They said the resort has been in the family since 1970.
“We have met with our commercial real estate agent and have already started conversations with prospective buyers,” wrote the Ouradniks. “At nearly 62 and 70 years of age, we now see the opportunity to retire and enjoy each other and our family.”
Local Five News spoke to members of the community who are reacting for the first time to the news that the owners will not rebuild the resort.
Damien Brown is from Louisville, Ky., and said he has been coming up to Door County since 1997. Throughout the years, he said he’s stopped by Rowleys Bay Resort for food.
“Everything is mom-and-pop operated, people are very friendly like they’re in the south,” said Brown. “I can’t reiterate enough, it’s a great family environment.”
Brown said it was tough to hear the news about the fire and the more recent news that the owners won’t rebuild.
“Disappointed for the community because we realize this is one of those places that has been around for a long time and has a long history,” said Brown.
In a separate Facebook post, the Ouradniks said they are putting everything in their gift shop on sale as they prepare to close up shop and retire. A link to the resort’s gift shop can be found here.
“We’re looking forward to the next chapter at Rowleys Bay, and are so grateful for the time we had here on the bay,” wrote the Ouradniks on Facebook. “We have been blessed by those who chose to spend time with us, enjoying the beauty that God “provided in our little corner of the world. We are also thankful for staff who have helped us along this journey over the years, and we have so many wonderful memories of all of you.