Our update starts on a melancholy note this week. Condolences go out to the family and friends of Charles Shuck. He passed away on Feb. 15 and services were held on Saturday. Mr. Shuck inherited Okoboji Bait Farm from his father, Paul. You might know the business under its current name, Shuck's Bait and Tackle. Charles put up a new building along Highway 86 and ran the business for 27 years. Mr. Shuck liked playing the stock market and a hand of poker or two. More often you'd find him outside as he hunted, fished and trapped with family and friends. He was 65.
We know we're getting closer to spring when some of our favorite stops open back up after a winter hiatus. Duke's the burger, fry and shake place along Highway 71 in Okoboji, is opening March 4. Before you know it, we'll all be having Bob Dogs and Taco House softshells as well.
In an agribusiness note, Ellwood Johnson traveled from Dickinson County to Des Moines to meet with our area lawmakers on behalf of Farm Bureau. They were welcomed by state Rep. John Wills of Spirit Lake and the delegations discussed issues of interest to the Farm Bureau organization.
Congratulations to Butch Parks, his wife Debbie and the entire staff at Parks Marina once again. They tell us Parks Marina of Okoboji and Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Okoboji Boat Works in Okoboji have been ranked No. 6 among the Top 100 dealers in North America by Boating Industry, the leading trade publication for the marine industry. "Out of the thousands of boat dealers in North America, only the very best make the Top 100 list," Boating Industry Editor in Chief Jonathan Sweet said in the marina's announcement. "These companies are the elite of the marine industry, excelling at all aspects of their business." Boating Industry's Top 100 is an annual list that selects dealerships based on business operations, professionalism, marketing tactics, customer service and more. The trade magazine has been putting the list together for 10 years. "When you are ranking among dealerships in much larger markets like Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta and all of the coastal dealers in North America, we are honored to receive this prestigious award; it is a real testament to our amazing team," Butch tells us. "We also thank our customers for their support and trust."
Hey, Good Cookies! recently opened a second location at Lakes Regional Healthcare for patients, staff and visitors. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Owner Kelly Schatz has a location next to the cafeteria. Selections include baked goods including cookies muffins and bars. The flagship coffee, espresso café and gift shop is on the north side of Highways 9 and 71 in Spirit Lake.
The Ritz in Arnolds Park has been a frequent contender in the "Iowa's Best Burger" competition sponsored by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. The nomination window is open if you would like to return them to Iowa's top 10 list for 2015 (or nominate another good hamburger in the area). The nomination period ends March 10 and the top 10 list will be announced in mid-March. The 2015 best burger in Iowa will be announced on May 4 as a kickoff to May Beef Month. In 2014, 9,600 nominations for 456 restaurants were received.
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