|By Neal St. Anthony, Star Tribune,
MinneapolisMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 25, 2008 - --Jerry Dubbs, a pioneer of the Minnesota resort industry, whose family operated Izatys on Lake Mille Lacs from 1960 to 1987, died Nov. 21 at age 83.
"Jerry's optimism made him the consummate host," said his son Mike Dubbs. "I don't think he had a bad day in his life. That optimism, in part, helped make him so successful.
"In the resort business you're often asked, 'How's fishing?' Dad would often reply, 'Fishing is GREAT! The catching may be a little slow.'"
Dubbs and his family transformed Izatys from a small fishing resort into one of the largest year-round vacation and conference centers in Minnesota.
"Dad was a great visionary" said another son, Steve. "Early on, he acquired adjacent property for future expansion and ended up with over a mile of lakeshore."
In 1965, Jerry Dubbs built the first nine-hole golf course at the resort and expanded it to 18 holes in 1980. He also built a 160-slip marina, added condominiums and expanded the conference facilities.
Dubbs and Izatys hosted two Minnesota governors' fishing openers, two vice presidents, celebrities, athletes, astronauts, business leaders and thousands of families.
Jerry and his wife, Dorothy, decided to sell the resort on the south shore of Lake Mille Lacs to a Minneapolis business group that wanted to renovate and expand the 250-acre complex.
The group was led by Minneapolis businessmen John Mooty and Chip Glaser, two frequent guests. The resort has since changed hands.
Jerry and Dorothy Dubbs owned Izaty's for 27 years, following 15 years of ownership by Dorothy's parents, Earl and Rochelle Bettendorf.
Jerry Dubbs, a one-time president of the Minnesota Resort Association, was born in Mendota, Ill., in 1925, and received a B.S. degree from the University of Notre Dame.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, five sons, their spouses and grandchildren.
A visitation is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Onamia. Services will follow at the church.
Neal St. Anthony --612-673-7144
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