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Testimonials
It was my 1st time renting a cabin for a week here. The cabin was very clean and modern. The hosts Vanessa and Ray and their staff were so nice and helpful.

Views and sunsets- beautiful. Lots of different large birds to see, (including white pelicans, bald eagles, and loons) The grounds were so well maintained and Walkways marked. It was so quiet and so peaceful, a perfect size resort.

A short drive to get in a hike, view some of the area north, or view the “bears” at Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. My vacation was a great experience.
Thank you Vanessa, Ray and staff. Don’t change a thing! Everything was perfect!

Jan- Wisconsin
 
Thanks so much for making our vacation so enjoyable. My brother and I have never seen a resort run so well. And NEVER have we seen resort owners spend so much time and money on entertaining the guests and their children. Minnow races are one thing, but providing prizes???? Unheard of!! Free sundaes for everyone?? Unbelievable! Providing most of the food for the “pot luck”?? Wow!! The list goes on and on! It seems to me that there is more to it with your family then just providing a fun vacation so that people will come back, or that the idea is just “spend money to make money”. I see a family that truly enjoys interacting with people, helping people, and putting smiles on people’s faces. When Ray came over to fix the TV it didn’t seem that he did it because he had to, it seemed he wanted to. When Vanessa spent almost an entire day shopping for prizes and food for the pot luck and minnow races, it seemed she enjoyed it. When Kelsea was digging out the ice cream for everyone, she didn’t seem to do it because she HAD too, but because she enjoyed doing it. Your younger daughter too, holding that big tray full of prizes and handing them out…she truly seemed to be enjoying herself. I can’t forget Evan and the dock boys either; It seemed they really cared! I believe God puts us all here for many reasons. I also believe that one of the most important reasons is that he wants us to nurture, care for, serve, help, and be good to one another. This is just my opinion, but I believe in the end we’ll be judged on how well we did these things. I believe when we do these things and do them well like your family does, we’re doing Gods work. And when we do God’s work, he smiles down on us and returns that goodness to us ten fold! If you had a suggestion box in the lodge, here’s what I would put in it: Ray and Vanessa…don’t change a thing. I can’t imagine how you could do it any better. Kelsea….never, ever settle for second best! You seem to be so humble and unassuming that you don’t even realize how much you have going for you! Smart, ambitious, hard working, and beyond “pretty”! In your last year of school, then grad school, future jobs, and even “men”….you deserve the best…accept NOTHING less!! And your younger sister...I didn’t really meet her or get her name but she seemed to already have the foundation to be a great person. As you go thru high school and then collage, just follow Kelsea’s example and I guarantee you will be successful. I know almost nothing about running a resort and I’m certainly no one special. I’m just a guy who rented a cabin for a week, so for what it’s worth, I was really impressed! Again, thanks so much to all of you for making our vacation so memorable.

Rob Ewing


Ray and Vanessa
Just wanted to let you know how much we love coming to Aspen Resort. We have been coming up there for eight years now and couldn't ask for anything better. Every year we say to ourselves "it can't get any better than this", then the next year turns out better than the last.

Everything is perfect, the cabin, the boat, the fishing and especially you and your staff! Everybody goes out the extra mile to insure a memorable stay at Aspen!

We ended up catching a total of 47 bass in the slot(attached are a couple of pictures of them), all released of course, making 2009 one of our best years yet.

We are counting down the days to our trip in 2010. See you in July!

Jack Nolen & Wade Newton

    

Kathy and I wanted to share with your and Vanessa... We had a wonderful time at Aspen. We were worried that Dale & Jacob would be bored but as it turned out they had a terrific time and made some new friends. We appreciate all that you have done to the place along with your attention to the details in running the lodge. They boys are already looking at fishing baits for next year. Jacob has a box under his bed and is stocking it with goodies for next year. Dale is saving his honey for a new fishing pole for walleye..... ;-).

Of course, Kathy... Ugh... Has been on cloud 9... Her walleye was a incredible way to bring the week to a close.

Thank you again! Jim
Hello,
My family and I were at your resort last week and I wanted to let you know what a great time we had. I have already told several friends what a perfect place it is for families. The pool, beach, play area was great for us. The kids activities that we attended were a great idea too. The cabins were very nice and clean. Although I never got the chance to fish, I know that my brothers and brother-in-law all did. We have stayed in many places and this was by far one of the nicer resorts and perfect for families with kids. We really did appreciate the fact that you were able to accommodate us with both of the cabins being near one another as well. Although we usually try to go to a new destination every year, this will be a place I would love to come back to and will recommend. Thanks for nice week.

Rochelle Mateffy
Hey Everyone!
How's the new boat?

Minnesota Fishing at it's best! - Man holding walleyeJust wanted to drop a line to say that, once again, you set the standard that few resorts can follow. Beautiful location, spotless cabins, unbelievable service and of course, some of the best fishing in Minnesota - regardless of species. I have been to at least 20 resorts in Minnesota and none of them come close. I really appreciate your effort to ensure my vacation time is well spent ~ it is certainly hard earned!

I have been spreading the word about Aspen resort. All I ask in return is to get a copy of my walleye photo E-mailed to me. It will be my new wallpaper.

See you guys soon!

Sincerely,
Joe Garritano
President
Penn Garritano Direct
Dear Ray and Vanessa,

Just wanted to drop you a note and thank you for making our vacation an enjoyable event!! Thank goodness for the World Wide Web! Without it we would have never known about your little piece of heaven. We had fun fishing and of course eating them! Much needed relaxation and we had a bit of luck when the Aspen tree fell the other direction missing the truck! I loved the storms we had while there, especially the thunder which just went on and on and on. And it's funny how just knowing you can't get out because the road is covered in water that makes it just a little more exciting!

Mason had a great time catching his first fish and was always keeping count to make sure everyone had a fish to eat. And Hayley loved playing in the sand and feeding the ducks... which ate more bread than we did on the trip! Oh, and the ice cream was a big hit. Brandi and I enjoyed chatting with Jake. He is a really nice kid and always had a smile... I think maybe he was enjoying his job!

So to sum it up we had a great time and it was definitely worth the 12 hour drive, even with bored and screaming children... that all night drive now seems mighty quiet!

We are already thinking of our next trip so may see you next year!

Sincerely,

Connie & Bill Tracewell ;)
Thank you from Brian and Mike Symons!
Everything was great! Tell John thank you again.

Best fishing we have ever had. Excellent service by all people we encountered throughout the entire stay. Beautiful cabin and grounds. There is not words that describe the beautiful experience we had.

Best regards,
Mike
 
Children making their own TShirts during arts and crafts at the resort.Dear Ray, Vanessa, Brittany, Kelsey & Alexes,

Thank you for the nice T-shirts that we made, the hot dog roast, and the tube riding. I really liked playing with Brittany and Kelsey.

Your friend,
Heather Kiser

P.S. - We're coming back next year!!
My husband, Ciro and I wanted to thank you for making it possible for us to photograph the pelicans on the rocks at Pelican Lake on the morning of July 20, 2012.

It was an unexpected and very happy beginning to our day. As we were leaving that morning to return to Michigan, we could not stay until the lodge opened to thank you in person. We enjoyed meeting Courtney, and apprciated his kindness, politeness, and , of course the time he took in rowing us across the lake. Once at the rock, he was very careful to steer the boat around so we could get the best shots. It was a most enjoyable experience.

We met many wonderful and kind people on this trip; this made it all the more enjoyable and memorable.

We think your lodge is beautiful. We look forward to spending more time there in the future, and look forward to meeting you in person, and to seeing Courtney again.

Best regaurds, Ciro and Sandra Sandoval
Dear Ray & Vanessa,

Thank you and everyone at Aspen Resort for a great week in Minnesota.

We really had a great vacation and look forward to coming again!

Thanks,
Sincerely,
Bill Woods
Michelle & Frankie

P.S. My 20-in. Bass was worth it alone!!

 
Dear Ray & Vanessa,

I am writing a letter to thank you for a great vacation at your resort. It's been almost a month now since I returned home, but my mind and heart are still in Minnesota.

I threw in a couple of photograph copies from when I was there. I enjoyed catching fish every day. The weather was perfect and the fish cooperated.

I have vacationed in south central Minnesota many times, but I've never traveled as far north as Orr before. I've got to say that your area has much more to see and do than where I have been before. And Pelican Lake is much more productive than others I have fished in Minnesota. The smallmouth bass were probably the most fun with the northerns a close second.

The cabin and resort area were clean and quiet. I don't believe I've ever heard quiet that deafening before :). We don't get quiet in this part of the country... not like that.

The next time I'm "running from the law," as Vanessa put it, I'll certainly give you a call. As a matter of fact I'm already dreaming about a return trip.

Thank you, and enjoy a good winter.
Carl Gluck
Camarillo, CA

Visit Carl's Website: www.artbycarl.com
A picture of Carl - Read his wonderful testimonialDear Ray and Vanessa:


Thank you again for a great vacation at Aspen Resort. This was my fourth year back and it just seems to get better and better each year.

I want you to know that your efforts keeping your resort up and making your guests feel welcome doesn't go unnoticed. When you visit the North Woods from the City (Southern California)it is hard not to act like a tourist. Your staff, however, doesn't ever make me feel like an outsider or in any way less than welcome.

Your resort is clean and quiet. I was impressed by the energy Vanessa expends keeping the children entertained and having a good time. And Ray always has a warm greeting. Oh, and be sure to thank Elmer again for taking me out to show me his favorite crappie hole. That was fun. I will keep "Elmer's Jig" handy in my tackle box.

I put up some of the photographs and memories I have from my vacation on my website at www.artbycarl.com. When the bags get unpacked and I find my way back into a weekly routine here I hope to spend some time painting and drawing some of what I saw while I was at the resort.

Thank you again for an invigorating, refreshing, week away from the big city. I'm already planning for my return visit next year.

-Carl-
Visit Carl's Website: www.artbycarl.com
Ray, Vanessa and Family

I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know how much we enjoyed our week at Aspen Resort on beautiful Pelican Lake. This was our second summer at the resort and it was great to see you and your family again. Speaking for Kathy, Jessica, David and myself, we want to let you know how much we appreciate your dedication to making our stay so wonderful.

There are so many things that we enjoy about Aspen Resort. It has really become like a homes away from home. Your location on the lake is great, the cabins are very homey, clean and pleasant, your family is wonderful to be around, and your staff is the best (David and Jessica both want to be dockboys, or should I say dockpersons). We formed friendships with your family and staff immediately. As a matter of fact, It's not unusual for me to find Jessica or David on the Internet chatting with your daughters Kelsea and Brittney or the infamous dockboys Nick and Jake.

We met the Matthew family (John, Lisa, Molly, Megan, and Hannah) during our first year at the resort, booked the same week with them this last year, and got on the calendar with them again for next year - two weeks this time! We have become good friends and really look forward to seeing them each year also. And no matter what John say's, I won't let the fact that he has that BIG'er fish on the Wall of Fame come between us - but just wait until next year John!! Then there is the lake - we have really become Pelican lake fans. The fishing is terrific, the scenery is incredible, and the entire area is so quiet and peaceful. It's so easy to slow down and relax.

What really stands out for us are the details. Like having a great local fishing guide (thanks John!), or the afternoon tubing and skiing behind your Mastercraft, or the all-guest hot-dog cookouts, or the nightly campfires. Those are the little things that really make a difference.

It's really difficult to look at web pages and read brochures to get an idea of what and who you'll really find at a resort. We feel so fortunate that we found your Aspen Resort. It has, and continues to exceed our expectations. Count on us to be back for many years to come.

Take care,
Randy, Kathy, Jessica and David Schrock
Overland Park, KS
Dear Ray and Vanessa:

After returning to the Aspen Resort for 5 years I wondered if my visits would become routine or less exhilarating. But this year was better than ever! I really enjoyed staying in your brand new Black Bear Cabin. Wow. All the comforts of home in a beautiful setting just steps away from the dock!

The fishing and scenery this year were as good as ever. I put some photos I took on my website at www.artbycarl.com. I especially enjoyed watching the eagles in the tree tops around the shore and on the islands. The Monday evening potluck was fun too (I enjoy chatting with folks I haven't seen for a year, telling fish stories).

Your resort is quiet, clean, and user friendly. The grounds are always groomed and the boats are in great shape. I especially enjoyed fishing from the new Lund Rebel. Oh, the dockboys (and girl) were great again this year... always a smile and helpful as I came and went from the dock.

My only complaint is that a week is just too little time to take it all in. I'm already planning my return trip next year! Until then I hope to use some of the photographs I took this year in a few of my paintings in the coming months.

Thanks again for a great time. I hope you have a terrific year.

-Carl-
Visit Carl's Website: www.artbycarl.com

 
Ray and Vanessa,

Hello, this is a long over due thank you for both trips up to your place last year. The first with my dad in May was unforgettable. We spent every second on the water and did not get to experience your hospitality. The trip in August with my family was a memory I'll never forget. The view from the cabin was unbelieveable. I've stayed in numerous resorts and I myself work

in the hospitality business and I've never seen hosts accommodate their guests has well as you two. We're currently going through some dates and hope to see you again.

Thanks again,
Mike Stevenson.
 
 


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