Nancy and Roger Schwieters, longtime owners of Boyd Lodge in Crosslake, are grand marshals of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Crosslake.
They’ll ride on a float through town on Saturday, March 16. The parade starts at 2 p.m. in Crosslake’s Town Square shopping center.
Boyd Lodge is named for Nancy’s family. Her parents, Lynn and Ceil Boyd, started the lodge in 1934.
Nancy said she was at the resort all her life, except for about 10 years. She moved away to go to college, and in the process she married Roger in 1959 and the two started a family.
Roger and Nancy took over the resort in 1967, when Nancy’s parents were killed in a car accident.
“When the accident happened, we agreed to drop everything and fulfill my father’s dream,” Nancy said.
Roger added, “Crosslake soon became our home. We raised our children there.”
Roger and Nancy have three children, and also raised two foster children.
All their children grew up in the resort and worked there, Nancy and Roger said. Nancy believes it made them good, strong people. Roger said it instilled a good work ethic.
“It’s just become an integral part of our lives,” Roger said. “We do vacation, but we’re always happy to return.”
The two said the resort business is all about serving people.
“The resort is an entirely different sector (of work) because it’s so oriented toward people,” Roger said. “You really have to be a people person. ... Our whole business is of serving people.”
“It’s a labor of love,” Nancy said.
Roger noted that the people visiting the lodge are already happy, because they’re on vacation, which makes working with them very enjoyable.
Some of the Boyd Lodge visitors have been vacationing at the lodge for more than 50 years, the couple said. They’ve become very close with guests, and in many cases have visited them in other states.
“One of our mottos we have is you’re not just a guest, you’re family, and I think that’s important,” Nancy said.
The family has grown the resort over the years. When they took it over, there were 18 units. Roger and Nancy added a couple more, along with tennis, boats and more.
In 1982, they built townhouses and a new tennis and pool area. Their latest addition is a new check-in area and conference center.
Their work at the resort was recognized when Roger was named Minnesota Resorter of the year in 1987. In 2007, Nancy was inducted into the Minnesota Hospitality Hall of Fame by the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association.
The couple said they’re excited to be this year’s grand marshals in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, and are looking forward to the event.
Conveniently, Nancy is of Irish descent.
“I’m very Irish, and the part of me that isn’t wishes I was,” she said with a laugh.
Her mother was 100 percent Irish. Roger wasn’t so lucky, Nancy said jokingly. He’s full blooded German, but Nancy likes him anyway.
“It’s an honor,” Nancy said of being grand marshal. “We didn’t expect it and were very surprised.”
Both the Schwieters expressed their love for the area.
“Of all the places in Minnesota, we in the Brainerd area and Crosslake area have such a natural asset because of the woods and water and beautiful, beautiful chain of lakes. You don’t have to search for a lot because it has all the recreation facilities and amenities. It’s good to be a part of that,” Roger said.
“We have wonderful shops, and the whole area works together to make our life in the Crosslake area very special,” she said.