Mike and Kelly Stone of Crosslake were just happy to have their golf complex in the running for a lakes area business award. To win the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s second annual Business Excellence Award on Monday, Oct. 7, was an honor.
“We’re just so honored to be in the company we were in — Clow Stamping and RedHouseMedia are outstanding companies,” Mike Stone said after accepting the award Monday at the Brainerd Lakes Chamber’s annual dinner at Breezy Point Resort.
The Stones own Crosswoods Golf Course and Whistling Wolf Mini Golf in Crosslake. Other nominees were Clow Stamping in Merrifield and RedHouseMedia in Brainerd.
The chamber accepted nominations and narrowed the field to three finalists for the Business Excellence Award, designed to recognize an area business for its entrepreneurial spirit and business accomplishments. Judging criteria included growth, innovation, ethics and community impact of the nominated businesses.
“For the chamber to look at such a diverse cross section of businesses in the area is unique and goes to the spirit of what the award is about,” Stone said.
Breezy Point metal artist Jeff Kreitz designed the sculpture awarded to the Stones.
Stone credited his parents, Jack and Dee Stone, for having a vision while on their honeymoon in the Crosslake area. Jack Stone decided to buy land and opened a 13-hole mini golf course in 1967.
The business has continued to grow ever since.
In 1985, the family opened a par 29 executive golf course. An 18-hole course followed, with the first nine holes open for business in 1997 and the second nine in 2002.
Also in 2002, they opened the 18-hole mini golf course called Whistling Wolf. In 2011, Stone designed Dark Moon, a nine-hole course with three pins per hole that can be played 27 different ways.
Mike and Kelly Stone built a restaurant at Crosswoods five years ago, and this year they obtained a liquor license.
The Stones are recognized for giving back to their community and employees as well.
“They’re the best people to work for,” said employee Sandra Christner, who along with fellow employee Lea Mailand attended the chamber dinner where the Stones were recognized.
“They’re easy-going people to work for. So many times they go above and beyond to make customers happy,” Christner said. “They’re always giving, whether it be for a fundraiser or sponsoring a tournament.”
Nancy Vogt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook.