HERB AND LUCILLE Heidel purchased the 12-acre Kelly Estate on Green Lake’s north side in 1945, turning its home into one of the upper Midwest’s premiere restaurants and resorts.
HERB AND LUCILLE Heidel purchased the 12-acre Kelly Estate on Green Lake’s north side in 1945, turning its home into one of the upper Midwest’s premiere restaurants and resorts.

     He published the Green Lake County Reporter.

     She was a Green Lake school teacher.

     Little could Herb and Lucille Heidel have known on that cold, snowy New Year’s Eve in 1945 that the property they bought for $20,000 would grow to become one of Wisconsin’s most popular destination resorts.

     For almost four decades the retreat along Green Lake’s northeastern shore thrived and grew, enabling the elder Heidels to step back, returning from Carefree, Ariz. during the summers in the 1970s to pitch in at the tranquil tourist destination they had created. ...

     The farther Heidel House strayed from being a mom-and-pop resort, it seems, the more difficulty it seemed to have remaining viable.

     It now is a subordinate in the holdings of the Madison-based Fiore Companies, whose real-estate portfolio is heavier on office buildings and retail spaces than it is on hospitality properties; Heidel House is Fiore’s only resort — its only other hotel is a Best Western in Madison.

     Mayor Jon McConnell continues to maintain that a serious party is in talks to buy the property ...

     Who should be surprised that a potential suitor is intrigued by this quiet paradise?

     The timing seems right for a hospitality renaissance at 643 Illinois Ave.:

* A robust economy;
* Rising consumer purchasing power;
* Prime frontage on Wisconsin’s deepest inland lake;
* Lack of large-scale competition within the area;
* Abundant sport fishing, bike trails, 99 holes of golf within an 18-mile radius;
* A can-do community that has made “renewal” its mantra. ...

     ... a growing demand for off-the-beaten-path places to relax, rejuvenate and reacquaint suggest the resort — configured to be appealing and affordable to families by offering a higher density collection of suites with kitchenettes rather than single-bed rooms — accompanied by family-friendly amenities and eateries, has an opportunity to be a refreshing alternative to the kitsch, stress and noise of water parks, go-cart tracks and traffic jams that beckon just 53 miles down the road. ...
                          — Tim Lyke

     To read the entire editorial, see the May 16, 2019 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.