Alton

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Area Insights

"The Bridge"

"The Bridge" has been referred to by the Wharf Bridge, the Kentucky Fried Chicken Bridge, the bridge connecting East and West, among other names. In the good old days, this was actually a draw bridge converted to the current permanent structure. In the 90's when the 3 lane was installed, there was talk about removing the bridge and making some drastic changes. All in all, the base of the bridge remained, and the upper structure was improved. I remember as a kid jumping off the bridge, and fishing on and under the bridge. In fact, an unforgettable memory I have is when I was fishing with my cousin and I casted out trying to reach the opposite corner of the bridge with my lure. In mid air, a pigeon flew and the timing was so great that my line wrapped around the pigeon, and the pigeon went into the water. I reeled it up and had caught a pigeon. My cousin then decided to hold this pigeon inside the front of his coat. We went to show people at Okoboji Boats what we had caught. When we got there, he opened his jacket, and the pigeon had pooped all over his white shirt.

Arrowood Resort

Arrowood Resort in Okoboji

Arrowood is a year-round conference center and hotel with over 100 guest rooms, whirlpool suites and a "Great Room" for hosting group events and hospitality suites. Formerly known as Village East, the resort offers an outdoor pool, deck, playground, volleyball and croquet courts and a heated indoor pool area. Hotel goers can also enjoy an on-site salon, Minervas Bar and Eatery and lit parking. Located on Brooks National Golf Course, Arrowwood Resort offers some of the finest lodging around. Years ago, Brooks Golf Course clubhouse was actually housed on the rear side of Arrowood, but since then, the course has been converted to 27 holes with a a new separate clubhouse. Also, the Racquet Club was a part of the facility, offering workout facilities, racquet ball, and tennis. However, with the addition of the YMCA, the racquet club was unsustainable and converted into retail.

O'Farrell Sisters

O'Farrell Sisters in Okoboji

The O'Farrell Sister is a historic Okoboji Tradition that one must check out for breakfast and lunch!

'Farrell Sisters History
The O'Farrell Sisters restaurant was born in 1949 at the bridge on Hwy 71, between East and West Lake Okoboji. Edna Mae and Arlene O'Farrell bought the business from Ike Kissinger who was running for Sheriff of Dickinson County.

In the early years the girls were open seven days a week and had a booming business in no time. The fried chicken dinners on Sunday evenings were especially popular. There were times when the line waiting to get in was so long they'd have to lock the door and would often run out of chicken!

In 1959 Arlene married and moved to Tallahassee, Florida with her husband Furman Henderson. Edna Mae and Ferne continued in the restaurant, moving to its present location that same year. This spot had a garden and chicken coup, which was moved to the house across the street.

Ferne died in 1974 and Edna Mae in 1978. Arlene sold the business to nieces Joyce Gapinski, Jo Ann Anderson, Charlotte Sarvie and Cheri Petersen (these are married names). The nieces successfully ran the restaurant from 1979 through 2003. After losing Jo Ann in 1997 and Cheri in 2002, Joyce and Charlotte decided to sell after the 2003 season.

The rest is to be continued...

Bridges Bay Resort

Bridges Bay Resort in East Lake Okoboji

Bridges Bay Resort is built on the land purchased a few years prior which used to be owned by the Nielsen family of Arnolds Park. This huge complex consists of a hotel, 3 condo buildings (a 4th is under construction), and over 100 vacation cabins. A popular part of the resort is the indoor waterpark that cabin and condo owners have access to, but also, so does the public for a fee. Braccos is a fantastic summertime restaurant and bar which is frequented by boat, by car, and by foot, especially from the owners of the condos and cabins. All of the units at Bridges Bay have an opportunity for a boat hoist, and it is an extremely popular destination for out of towners looking for a vacation spot in Okoboji. Because Bridges Bay is not within the city limits, many owners utilize property management companies to help them rent their units by the day, week, and month. I've personally sold and shown many condo and cabin units and would be delighted to help.

Cheap vs high end quality. A buyer's perspective.

Cheap vs high end quality.  A buyer's perspective. in The

Here's the scenario. You are building a house or remodeling your house. Material costs are up. Labor costs are up. You ask yourself, where can I save a buck? Before answering this question, you must be careful, especially if your home is located in an area where other quality homes are built, whether on the lake, off the lake, or in higher valued developments such as golf course developments, etc. Growing up in construction and with a plethora of new construction and remodels under my belt, let me share with you some of the easy things that your future buyers will recognize when they are looking for quality.
1. One of the first things buyers of higher end homes will look for is to determine if the owner used hollow core doors. It's an immediate sign that the seller was looking for ways to save money (where else then did they cut back that I can't see???)
2. The second most obvious is the counter tops. Did the sellers spend for a quality granite, quartz, or other hard surface, or was formica used?
3. The third item that might stick out is the cabinetry. Do the drawers have dovetail construction with hardwoods? Did they use "soft close" drawers? Are there pull outs for the pots and pans?
4. Flooring is an easy one also. Was laminate used, or is it engineered or hardwoods? Does the carpet convey a quality feel and plushness? Is there a nice thick pad underneath the carpet?
5. Though there are many other items to look at, cheap vs quality lighting and plumbing fixtures are probably the next major focus.

There is nothing wrong with with using lower cost materials, especially when trying to keep a project within budget, especially when trying to build more house for less money. Just be aware that most buyers looking to spend in excess of $300k for off lake homes and $500+ for East Lake chain homes, and $1M+ for West and Big Spirit will expect the very best materials and finishes.

"The Tressle"

"The Tressle" bridge used to carry the old railroad that traversed the area. Now the tressle is home to some of the areas best fishing. Served as a hot spot for fisherman, and a trail for walkers and bikers, the tressle is a classic structure of the Okobojis. We spent days jumping off of the tressle doing cannonballs, preachers, flips and the like. I know in my life my friends and I have caught literally tens of thousands of crappie and blue gill off the tressle bridge.

Buyer and seller real estate app, right at your fingertips.

Buyer and seller real estate app, right at your fingertips. in The

Browse real-time MLS listings in the Iowa Great Lakes Region
Filter for specific areas and amenities
Be notified when there is a new MLS listing match, status change, or price drop
Stay in touch with your agent
Save searches and favorites
Agents, Buyers, Lenders and Appraisers can view your transactions
View, download and sign documents

Every 30 seconds, a RE/MAX agent helps someone find their perfect place. Let us help you find yours.

1. Search "SellBoji" in your app store on your cell phone.
2. Download the app
3. Create a profile to access info or save searches (This is not necessary to browse the listings)
4. Enjoy all the benefits of the real estate app

West O Brewery

West O Brewery in West Okoboji

West O Brewery is the best place to go for your microbrews is Okoboji. All beer is made with natural spring water from West Lake Okoboji and are big partners in Keeping Okoboji Blue. You will definitely have a favorite brew with 15 tap options from ciders ranging to IPA's to stouts. Also, West O is known for its amazing Brick Oven Neapolitan pizzas!

Boji Doors

Boji Doors in Spirit Lake

A family owned and operated garage door installation and general maintenance and repair company. They have competitive pricing, their service is prompt and reliable, free design estimates are available and they cover a wide service area. Whether you’re wanting to transform your space, repair your existing door, or explore and design a new commercial or residential garage door option, Boji Doors of Spirit Lake has you covered! Call Josh today 712.330.9806 for sales, service and installation!

Haywards Bay

Haywards Bay in West Lake Okoboji

Haywards Bay on West Lake Okoboji boasts low approaches and one of the few areas on West Lake to offer sand beaches. Renowned for the "bay of the flags", you will know you are in Haywards bay because of the all the American flags on the end of the docks. Fishing is great in Haywards Bay and the sunsets are one in a million. To get to Haywards Bay by car, one would drive the east side of the lake on Lakeshore Dr.

Dry Dock

Dry Dock in Restaurants of the Iowa Great Lakes

The Dry Dock, connected to Four Season's Resort offers a simplified menu, but consistent delicious food. One of the few restaurants on West Lake Okoboji, the Dry Dock offers up legendary breakfasts, great lunches and dinners, and the local favorite Friday Night Fish Fry. Sit inside or out after arriving by foot, car, or boat.

SpudNutz

SpudNutz in Okoboji

Spudnutz is great

 

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