Twin Lakes Resort, one of the Central Oregon’s best loved family vacation spots, is under new ownership. And that owner has a lot of work to do.
“We are sticking with the basics,” said owner Drew Eriksson. We are doing some add-ons and improvements. This year, I’m focused on trying to understand the business, trying to understand the clientele and how it all works.”
Eriksson is a geologist. He traveled the world exploring for oil and gas and managing large energy projects.
“It’s going to be great. It’s going to be chaotic and it’s going to be a little scary but I’m looking forward to it. It’s an adventure for me and my family.”
He says taking on ownership of Twin Lakes Resort with its 14 cabins, well-patronized restaurant, busy country store, almost always full RV park and fleet of boats is a completely new challenge.
“We’ve been open for one week. The people I’ve met here already, that have come in for dinner, it’s amazing. We had a 70-year-old man here whose been coming up here for 68 years, since he was 2 years old. How can you beat that? How important this place is to so many people. I think you need to honor that. You don’t need to make radical changes. I want to keep this place traditional and just add little by little and see where it goes.”
Eriksson is planning improvements. Among them is a new dock called Party Barge One that people can rent for the day.
“Put it out a little way in the lake, anchor it, give them a boat, let them paddle out. This is an area they can stay. We’ll put a table, chairs and an umbrella on it. We’ll have a ladder, an area to jump off. You can fish from it. You can swim from it. You can just have a great time.
Eriksson has already built a stage on which he plans to host live music performances on Saturday afternoons.
“There’s a patio area that is quite popular in the afternoons. We want to keep people outdoors so we built a stage. We will have music from two to about five o’clock. Have live bands, see how it goes.”
Inside the historic lodge and restaurant, a new chef is livening up the menu with fresh ingredients.
“On Friday’s do a fish fry. Traditionally on Friday it’s been ribs. We are going to do that all summer. We kicked it off last Friday and we filled the place up. The reviews were excellent. People said it was the best fish fry they’d ever had. We’ll still have prime rib on Saturday nights. We are trying to spice and freshen things up. Oregon Country beef for our burgers. Still simplistic menu but elevate it a little. We’ll have steelhead for dinners. Smoked dip for some appetizers. Just trying to elevate the menu a little bit.”
Twin Lakes Resort has 14 rustic cabins all with views and easy access to the lake which means they fill up quickly. Reservations are required months in advance.
“This is one of our bigger cabins. This is cabin No. 2. They are quite rustic. There are two bedrooms downstairs. Full kitchen. A living room here then a loft upstairs with four to six beds.”
That’s the theme of the resort: Bring the family and enjoy the place together.
“That’s right. Pile in. And no TVs. You have to interact with each other. He adds that a Wi-Fi signal does exist, but says it’s “bad.”
Twin Lakes is a place to disconnect from the digital world and reconnect with family and friends. A place to go swimming, boating, hiking, sunbathing and fishing.
“I was teaching my daughter how to fish last weekend,” Eriksson said, admitting he caught nothing. “But they just stocked 2,500 new fish in there so it’s a whole new ballgame.”
A new game indeed, with a new owner who understands the history, meaning and importance of this place to generations of people.