I hear this one all the time from prospects looking to list their house. "Well, agent xyz told us that if we listed with her, she'd have it sold in a week." This would fall into the category of "If it sounds too good to be true, the probably is." The majority of agents are not going to make this claim, but rather will give you an honest market analysis, inform you as to how weak or strong the market is, especially the market in which your home resides, and present the objective facts. A good agent will then lay out an effective marketing plan, where the majority of the focus should be on "online marketing". Be careful to not get caught up in empty promises, reduced commissions, and being talked in to lowering your price below market value (unless you must have a quick sale). The key to choosing a good listing agent is to objectively determine who is going to provide you the best opportunity to sell your home. Will your listing agent also aggressively work to find buyers, or will they just list your home and wait for another agent to do the work.
The Family Diner is Spirit Lake, IA is a local favorite! They offer up a large portion for small money, but whether you come early or late you may be in for a wait. With homemade bread and the largest sausage patty you have seen, The Family Diner is consistently delicious. They are open only for breakfast and lunch and closed two days a week. In my former career at Stylecraft, the family diner was definately a favorite when our friends would visit from North Carolina. They were always inpressed with the bread and rolls and corn beef hash.
"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.
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.
Emerald Hills Golf Course is one of the premier golf courses in the Iowa Great Lakes. Golfers throughout Okoboji will tell you that compared to the rest of the golf courses around, Emerald Hills is probably the most challenging. When I grew up as a kid, we lived just a half block from the back side of the course. We would sneak on with a couple short little clubs and balls we found walking the course and sometimes spent more time being chased by the sprinklers than trying to hit golf balls. Emerald Hills was owned by Gordy and Bette Benit many years ago and they can be credited with growing this course into the masterpiece it has become. Later purchased by Randy Rohlfsen and a few others, Emerald has flourished as one of the best courses around. If memory serves me right, Randy has been there since the early 1990's and has always had a strong conviction to help young golfers. He has taught and coached numerous high school teams, and they also put on a 5 day junior camp every year which has been a tremendous hit. I grew up on this course and can honestly say, you better be hitting the ball straight!
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.
Omaha Beach is on the north end of Echo Bay, extending out into Omaha Point. Known for its secluded private access from Lakeshore Drive, Omaha Beach properties are some of the most sought after on West Lake, easily fetching over $15000 per linear foot of lakeshore.
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.
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.
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.
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