Small Business of the Year Winner
MARYANN & PETER SCHMID
Once a rundown resort riddled with problems, The Lodge at Blue Lakes is now a welcoming beacon to tourists and locals. The resort not only provides top-notch accommodations for tourists but also offers locals a venue for special events, and works in a complimentary way with other local restaurants and hotels. Peter, known as “Admiral Peter”, has the largest fleet of electric boats in Northern California. This is one of the unique attractions that Blue Lakes and Lake County can be proud to showcase, drawing tourists and locals alike. The business is a success story, but when Maryann and Peter decided to purchase The Lodge at Blue Lakes, it was against big odds. The facility was in a sad state of disrepair and had changed hands many times. The overwhelming reaction from friends and business consultants to their interest in purchasing the facility was negative. Nobody thought that they would make it.
Where others saw disrepair, Maryann and Peter saw a diamond in the rough. Maryann, who manages the resort, understands marketing. Coming from the Bay Area where parking is scarce and very expensive, Maryann knew instantly that one key aspect of the operation was the abundance of good parking. Of course, she and Peter also knew the natural beauty of the lake nestled behind the resort would be a draw. Maryann marketed the facility to nearby Mendocino County and the Bay Area, as well as locally. Guests started booking vacations and the once dilapidated lodge began to sparkle. Two years after opening, Maryann saw an opportunity for an event center. It was the largest venue of its type in Lake County since Konocti Harbor had closed. The event center was an almost overnight success.
Maryann’s management style is to be a mentor to her employees. Employees are considered family and Maryann finds much satisfaction witnessing how employees with little or no experience grow into a passionate team of associates who adhere to providing the highest standards.
Maryann and Peter are also solid supporters of Lake County, giving generously of their time and money to support important community educational and other non-profit endeavors including the Academic Decathlon, a partnership between the Lake County Office of Education, local school districts and community businesses and organizations that promote the achievements of youth.
Today, thanks to Maryann and Peter, The Lodge at Blue Lakes is a shining example of what vision, determination, commitment and business acumen can accomplish.
Nomination by Olga Steele
for Small Business of the Year
Lake County, California
Chamber of Commerce
Eat, Drink, and Be Married,” the advertisement proclaimed, and we did!
My husband and I were married at The Lodge, June 2012 and what a wonderful experience it was! We had contracted with another venue, caterer etc. when I heard an advertisement on the radio for The Lodge. I was just approaching Blue Lakes when I said, “Why not?” We had our first date at the campground across from The Lodge so we already had a connection to the area. The owners Mary Ann and Peter, greeted me and agreed to meet with me on the spot. From the moment I entered the reception hall, I knew “It was meant to be.” From that first meeting to the the time we checked out the day after the wedding, we knew we had made the right decision. Mary Ann assured us from that first meeting and subsequent meetings that everything would be taken care of and not to worry. She was right! Mary Ann and Peter made our wedding weekend a memory to cherish. All of our family and guests fell in love with Blue Lakes as Rich and I had. The venue is beautiful, the food was delicious and Mary Ann’s expertise, hand holding and reassurance was just what this nervous bride needed. We loved our room with the large shower and fabulous spa tub and our family and other guests who stayed at the Lodge loved their rooms as well. Mary Ann, Peter and Jessica, the wedding coordinator provided by The Lodge, were professional, easy to work with and willing to listen to our ideas and see that they were carried through. In many instances, they went above and beyond to make our wedding so special! Thank you guys!!!! We loved the Ultimate Package and all that it had to offer. The chilled champagne, flutes and candle were a pleasant surprise when we returned to our room after the reception, as was all our many boxes of decorations packed and waiting for us to pick up the morning after the wedding. Our family and friends loved the electric boats, kayaks, swimming in the lake and pool and fishing from the dock. Rich and I were up at 5:00 on our Wedding Day fishing from the dock with our kids and grandkids watching the sun rise. What a glorious start to our special day! We had a stringer of trout by 6:30 am! We can’t say enough positive things about The Lodge, Mary Ann, Peter and all the employees that went above and beyond for our wedding weekend. We look forward to many more wonderful experiences at The Lodge at Blue Lakes in the future!
Rich and Barbara Campana
Our son’s wedding was recently held at the Lodge at Blue Lakes. The facility and location made us feel like we were in a world of our own. The owners and staff members were friendly, helpful, and went out of their way to make the occasion a wonderful experience for all of us from the planning stages through the actual wedding weekend. The rooms are newly remodeled and clean, and the ones with kitchenettes were perfect for those of us with children and families. The event center is perfect for a wedding – fresh and elegant with breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. I highly recommend the Lodge at Blue Lakes for anyone looking for a piece of paradise
Wonderful family vacation spot north of San Francisco
blytheraphael 1 contribution
May 31, 2010 | Trip type: Family
We have now been to the Lodge at Blue Lakes for the fifth time (we seldom return to the same spot). It is an unassuming hotel 15 miles east of Ukiah (about 2.5 hours from SanFrancisco) The hotel is not terribly fancy from the outside and does have some noise from the highway, but we keep returning to this well run gem run by a Swiss owner and his lovely wife for a relaxing family holiday. What makes it a gem is that the hotel is right on the clean, fairly warm,spring fed water of Blue Lake and is quite tranquil. There are almost no motorizedd watercraft on the lake so you don’t have to worry about being injured while swimming. There is fishing directly off the dock (50 feet from the rooms on the lake), a grassy area for lounging before the water, and canoes to take out for a paddle to the various rope swings around the lake. There is a barbeque, swimming pool, ducks to see, and crayfish for children to catch. Families with very small children should probably bring lifejackets/floaties, although the hotel provides them for kayakers. Each clean room has a television, airconditioning, small refrigerator, and coffee maker. The last time we were there the owner went out of his way to especially assist my handicapped mother. Nearest food is in Ukiah or Clear Lake with a liquor store one block walking distance for small items. Willits with the Skunk Train is 20 miles away as is the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas in Ukiah. Great location, nice atmosphere, and nice treatment from owners and staff keep us returning to the Lodge at Blue Lakes.
The Lodge was beautiful and the scenery was spectacular, not to mention the rooms filled with character and charm. Maryann you are the best, your dedication to customer service made our event go smoothly and the stress and made it fun for not only us but both families. Having large families from both sides not only did we fill your lodge you also went out of your way to find additional lodging at another resort, made a phone call and it was done! Your attention to detail from the rehearsal dinner to the wedding and not to mention the breakfast after the wedding was wonderful. The Lodge at Blue Lakes is a treasure and you should be proud of all you hard work and we are lucky to have you in Lake County.
I would like to thank Peter for taking us on a boat ride around the lake after the breakfast. The children loved him he took the time out to show them the lake, the turtles and even stopped to show them a trail of beautiful trees. He made them feel special by letting them drive the boat wearing the captain’s hat. They still talk about that. Thank you Peter.
Maryann I have to say this again, you and your staff are the best. I would highly recommend your “The Lodge at Blue Lakes” to anyone who wants to hold a special event. You made our special event one we won’t forget. I feel we are family. Thank you Maryann.
Just thought I would add we are talking about having a family reunion in the near future!
~Virginia and Miguel Barajas