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Miller's Bay, on the west side of West Lake is a popular spot for boaters in the summer to just go chill out, throw an anchor, and relax. On the weekends, this bay is filled with boats tied up to each other offering families the opportunity to have the kids swim, or you might find a bunch of party animals chugging beers and enjoying the summer sun. Either way, everyone is having a great time, and so if you are out and about, just know that Millers Bay is where boaters go in the summer to be where the party is at.
Referred to locally as the lake turning over the thermocline is a feature of lakes with deep water. The water on the top of the lake changes temperature much more variably during the year. On West Lake, it can reach as much as 75 degrees in July while the water below, greater than 35 or 40 feet deep is relatively stable around 45 degrees. In the fall and early winter, the top strata of the lake will cool to below 45 degrees, and then because it becomes denser, it will "sink" below the lower strata, thus, displacing it and making the lake "turn-over". In the deepest part of West Lake (near the 136ft mark), no light is availble, and hence little life is known whether fish or plant. Typically questions are raised as to why the surface water gets dirty for a short period of time in the fall, this this is the standard answer.
Founded in 1960, the Three Sons has been a staple of Milford, IA retail. From Herman and Emil Richter, owners, was born the University of Okoboji, a ficticious university that calls the entire Iowa Great Lakes the campus of the U of O. Part of the experience of shopping the three sons, if walking the old battered floors, and taking a trip upstairs for half price, plus a buck. Brands you would expect in Milford Iowa are abundant, such as Patagonia, Oakley, Under Armour, Tommy Bahama, and more. There are currently 2 other stores; one at the amusement park, and another near the Regal Beagle called the bridge store. No self-respecting visitor to Okoboji leaves without visiting one of their stores.
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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.
One of a kind Authentic Mexican Cuisine right here in West Okoboji! A local favorite and rated five stars by visitors young and old. Be sure to put this as a favorite on your list of places to not miss when you are vacationing in the Lakes area. Close to Terrace Park so if you are feeling up for a small walk you may walk from Terrace Park to the Taco House.
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.
Terrace Park is located in Brown's Bay on West Lake, Okoboji. It is one of the largest public beaches on West Lake and has entertained beach goers for many years. Next to Terrace Park is Boys Town out of Omaha, Nebraska. I remember as a kid spending entire days at terrace park, either riding bicycle or taking a moped (yes a moped) down to meet with friends and playing king on the dock. In 2010, the morning after "the storm", Terrace Park was carnage. Boat were stacked on top of each other. Trees were uprooted, and hoists were tossed around. Boats and other water craft were found in Terrace Park that belonged to owners on the North end of West Lake.
Pike's Point is located at 15973 213th Ave, Spirit Lake, IA on beautiful West Lake Okoboji. It is one of the largest parks in the Iowa Great Lakes, and provides for all kinds of activities including fishing, swimming, bird watching etc. This park also has a rest room, and a beach. If coming by boat, one wants to be careful as the point extends far into the lake, and there is a warning buoy roughly 300 feet from the point of shore. In 2010, many trees here were uprooted because of some severe straight line winds during the storm that reaked havoc through the Iowa Great Lakes.
AmericInn Lodge & Suites is centrally located in Okoboji on beautiful Brooks National Golf Course. This hotel offers 61 guest rooms all with 32' flat screen televisions and plush top beds. There are a variety of different room types are available.....fireplace, whirlpool tub, patio or balcony. They offer a free hot home-style breakfast such as waffles, sausage, eggs or biscuits and gravy, fresh fruit, yogurt and more! Enjoy the heated swimming pool, whirlpool, sauna or soak up the sun on one of the three patios. AmericInn offers an affordable option to tourists, especially in the summer. It is also conveniently located just off the trail system in Okoboji.
Boulders Inn and Suites promises to make your Okoboji vacation comfortable and relaxing. This new hotel just south of Emerald Hills golf course between Milford and Arnolds Park offers 40 rooms with suites to meet your individual needs. One of the best things about Boulders Inn is that it is within walking distance of the Taco House. For some of you, I know that can be a big deal!
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