Ruttger's Bay Lake Resort

The Minnesota Resort Tradition Since 1898
Deerwood, MN
Historic Resort • Fourth Generation Family-Owned
Sold
Invested
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SVN | Northco was hired as the seller’s representative for the sale of the historic Ruttger’s Bay Lake Resort in Deerwood, MN, which is less than a 2 hour drive from Minneapolis (“Ruttger’s”). Prior to the sale, Ruttger’s had been operated by the same family for 122 years and 4 generations.

Ruttger’s is situated on 450 acres and consists of the historic main lodge, numerous accommodations (with the capacity to sleep over 500 guests), two golf courses (a championship 18 hole course, Jack’s 18, and a 9 hole resort-style course), four restaurants and bars, and a wide variety of resort amenities. $50+ million of renovations and development are planned, including a mix of cabins, townhomes, and condos.

The hospitality group that purchased Ruttger’s has worked with SVN | Northco in the past, and they have more acquisitions planned. SVN | Northco was able to help advise on numerous matters including lease assumption, association management, business analysis, and in the end played an important role in transacting a deal in a very tough economic climate. SVN | Northco elected to invest in this property.

"Thanks to SVN for guiding Ruttger’s forward for future generations of guests.”

“Because our family owned this property for over 120 years, the idea of selling was hard to imagine. So when Frank Jermusek said interest in resorts was strong, and if there was ever a time, this was it, we didn’t give it much thought at first. But we talked more and eventually decided to work through the process, thinking at least we would learn something from the exercise. In time, with SVN’s guidance, we came to believe that the right buyer would be able to take our resort forward while honoring our tradition and culture.

The SVN team presented Ruttger’s to several buyers privately and came up with two good offers. We felt good about Navigator and signed an agreement. As we approached closing this spring, we had no idea the twists and turns that COVID-19 would create. At times it seemed unlikely we would be able to close at all, but Frank and team guided us through to a successful closing.

Emotions are bittersweet, but I am excited to see Ruttger’s carry on with the improvements and additions that we weren’t able to accomplish on our own. Thanks to SVN for guiding Ruttger’s forward for future generations of guests.”

Chris Ruttger
Previous Owner and Great Grandson of the Founder, Seller

"The entire SVN | Northco team ensured a smooth transaction that has left us with an asset that we couldn’t be happier with."

“We had the pleasure of working with SVN | Northco on the successful acquisition of the historic Ruttger’s Bay Lake Lodge located in the Brainerd Lakes Area in Deerwood, Minnesota.

From the beginning of the transaction until the end, the knowledge and professionalism that the entire SVN | Northco team ensured a smooth transaction that has left us with an asset that we couldn’t be happier with. We are excited to be a part of the legacy that the Ruttger’s family built over the past 122 years. We have worked with SVN | Northco on many transactions over the past 20+ years, and we look forward to our continued partnership!”

Patrick Egan
Principal, 1898 Investments, LLC, Buyer
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