2022 Resorters of the Year are Timber Trails Resort owners Tom and Kathy Marnik.
2022 Resorters of the Year are Timber Trails Resort owners Tom and Kathy Marnik.

   Each year, the Community of Minnesota Resorts (CMR) honors selected members with the Resorters of the Year award. All resorters are encouraged to think of possible nominees for the next year early on in order to highlight the resort that has gone above and beyond.

   It is our great pleasure to award this year’s 2022 Resorters of the year award to Tom and Kathy Marnik of Timber Trails Resort. We have certainly appreciated the time and energy the Marniks have with the CMR. They are always ready to jump right in and help. We all want to thank Tom and Kathy for their valuable contributions. 

   The Resorters of the Year award is given to those who exemplify the goals of our group: “Resorters helping Resorters.” Being a CMR member is a requirement for the award. However, other criteria include being active within the CMR, leading a successful resort operation and being of service to the industry on any number of levels.

   Each Resort nominated is then interviewed by the Resorters of the Year committee. The Resorters of the Year committee is composed of the past three year’s recipients. 

   We want to thank all of the nominees for taking the time out of their busy schedules to have a zoom meeting with us. We all truly enjoyed hearing the amusing and often heartwarming stories about your trials and triumphs of resort life in Minnesota.

   This year’s Resorters of the Year, Tom and Kathy Marnik attended CMR’s conferences before becoming resort owners themselves. And, while looking for a resort in Minnesota they felt they went in with eyes wide open. However, the Marniks now say running a resort is harder than they imagined! 

   The Marnik’s first experience buying a resort did not go well. This resort was located way up north so the couple packed up the entire family, filling up U-Hauls in preparation for the move. However, just as they were ready to leave, they received a phone call telling them that the resort’s previous owner had burnt down the resort and then committed suicide. Tom remembers how he and Kathy just sat in shock for days after receiving the devastating news. 

   But the Marniks weren’t about to quit, and they soon found their new resort. This resort is composed of 10 cabins and a few campsite hookups. The area is mainly a fishing resort, however, the have recently been adding TVs and Dish networks to all the cabins. They have also added kids’ activities, kayaks, paddle boats and a water mat. All of this has grown the Marniks’ Timber Trails fishing resort into a magical family getaway. 

   Their first big project happened during the Marniks’ first year of ownership. They remodeled the resort’s home which was a two-bedroom, one closet cabin with a dirt floor garage. 

   The Marniks updated this residence into a five bedroom, two bath cabin. At the same time they built while also building a new home and lodge. 

   Tom worked as a Civil Engineer and a volunteer firefighter for many years. Kathy served as a pediatric Registered Nurse in Nebraska. The couple have two grown children that live in Iowa and seven Grandchildren.

   The advice the Marniks would give about resort ownership is to get involved with the CMR. The Marnik’s note that all the knowledge from the colleagues was very beneficial. The CMR also provided support to help the couple succeed in their resort adventure. 

   Both Kathy and Tom have served on the CMR Board of Directors for many years. Tom is one of CMR’s Past Presidents, having served 2017-2018 and 2018-2019.

   Their most important takeaway from owning a resort is the fact that they get the chance to interact with the families and watch the kids grow each year. Tom and Kathy remember the special moments, such as the one evening when they were looking out their window and seeing five or six kids on the dock with no tablets, no phones. Just fishing!