Minnesota Resort Industry Oral History Project: Interview with Randy Ruttger
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Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Randolph "Randy" Joseph Ruttger was born in1950, in Bemidji. He was the son of Don and Lucille Ruttger, grandson of Max Ruttger, and great-grandson of Joe and Josie Ruttger, founders of Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge. He married his wife Tina in 1988 and they had two children. At the time of the interview he was owner and manager of Birchmont Lodge. At one time, each of the four sons of Bay Lake Lodge founders Joe and Josie Ruttger operated one or more independent resorts in Minnesota and Florida. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Boyhood; each school year split between Bemidji and Fort Lauderdale, Florida until high school. First memories of Birchmont Resort, layout, activities as a child, how it has changed over the years. Resort beginnings, father Don as manager and owner; who ran it during WWII; Florida operations, Lauderdale Ruttger, Ruttger's By The Sea, why Florida property was sold. His mother's role. Differences between Florida and Minnesota clientele, type of guests, income level, length of stay. Operations: changeover day, season points, year-round Minnesota operations versus summer only operations, Randy's wife Tina's role at Birchmont, winter activities and resort maintenance. What areas guests are drawn from. Marketing changes, advertising strategies. Efforts to increase business by drawing in more conventions and groups; changes to facilities to meet needs of large groups. Economics of improvements and additions to resort. Impact of handicap accessibility laws. Septic system, rate structure, changes over the years, housekeeping, future plans for resort, website, technology changes, paperwork, telephones, reservations, insurance, Worker's Compensation, his children's role now and in future operations. COMMENTS ON INTERVIEW: Video interview includes scenes of Birchmont Lodge inside and out, private and public areas, day and night shots. Scenes include owners and guests. Video log available in the Oral History Office.
Quantity 2 hours sound cassette
26 pages transcript
3 hours videocassette
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: moving images
Content Category: text
Measurements 100 minutes length (Audio interview)
150 minutes length Video interview.
Creation Interviewee: Ruttger, Randy
Interviewer: Rugger, Theresa
Made in Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Bemidji, Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 08/13/1997 - 08/27/1998
(Video interviews conducted 8/13/1997 and 8/14/1997; Audio interviews conducted 8/25/1998 and 8/27/1998.)
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 79
Accession Number AV2000.128.6
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Minnesota Resort Industry Oral History Project'

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