History of Kohl's Resort on Turtle Lake
1948 – 1952
Where it all began
Bob and Helen Kohl moved to Northern MN in 1948 when they began their plan to build off a small 2 cabin resort property. Bob, a professional photographer and Helen, a fashion model left Chicago behind as they packed up their two year old son and adventured to Northern Minnesota at the end of a two-rut road. They officially purchased the property in 1951 and opened Resort service in 1952.
Kohl's Last Resort
During several decades Bob and Helen developed this property on Big Turtle Lake (on the Turtle River Chain of 5 lakes) into one of the areas finest resorts, Kohl’s Last Resort. People came from all over for Bob’s steak fry and Helen's baked pies. In 1980 Rex and Kurt Kohl took over the resort from their parents. They formed a development company to add Colorado style Octagon mini vacation homes that were planned into timeshare condominiums. They also added a larger building with a lodge, indoor pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and Laundry facilities.
In 1988 the Octagon timeshares were separated off into private ownership and were not part of the Resort.
From Felix Family to Mason Family
Duane and Loye Felix owned and operated the Resort during the 1990’s. They would run the Resort until they sold it to Ron and Rita Mason from Iowa in 2000. Ron and Rita gave the resort a proper facelift inside and out by re-siding with log siding on several units along with building reunion cabins #20 and the Villa (#16,17,18,19). They also remodeled the pool and built an outdoor jacuzzi tub. They also began the process of purchasing back some of the Octagon cabins on the lake.
Eickhorst Family + Resort Transformation
In 2003 Jim and Deb Eickhorst with their son Aaron purchased the resort from the Mason’s. They continued on with the resort transformation by re-siding all cabins and extensively remodeling the cabins. While they were purchasing the resort cabin #2 burnt down. They dug right and rebuilt a brand new cabin #2. They acquired four more Octagon units from private ownership. In 2016 they underwent the Lodge transformation where the old conference center used to be housed. They revitalized the new Liar’s Lounge with Food and Drink service once again.
Putnam Family + New Additions
In 2020 Brian and Ashley Putnam along with their two kids Henry(4) and Lauren(2) bought Kohl’s Resort from the Eickhorst's. Ashley’s family has a long tie to the area with family cabins and a small resort on Beltrami and Fox Lakes dating back to the 1950’s. Brian’s family are long time resort goers making their annual trip to the same Cass Lake Resort each year for over 35 years. The Putnam’s began making further enhancements including purchasing Octagon cabin 203, adding 4 additional Boats and Pontoons to the rental fleet, expanding the aqua park on the water, rebuilt the A-frame and adding new docks with electrical service to all docks. A new 9-hole mini golf named The Woodlands Putt Putt is joining the resort fun in 2022.
We Can't Wait To Meet You!
We are excited to invite you to join us at one of our 24 private cabins to enjoy nature and re-energize. As we continue to foster the resort traditions you have become accustomed to, we’re also eager to add some new activities for your enjoyment. We are grateful for the opportunity to own a historic Minnesota resort and live out our dream! We love the outdoors and are family focused in each day’s adventures. The chance for us to help others enjoy their family vacation is what inspired us to purchase Kohl’s Resort. We look forward to developing new relationships with you and making you feel a part of our family each year as you create your own lifelong memories at Kohl’s Resort.
– The Putnams