July 29, 2011

Van Hook welcomes new ‘bait slingers’

Van Hook welcomes new ‘bait slingers’
BY ROBYN ROHDE
INTERIM EDITOR

Lake Sakakawea can be a tempting mistress.
Even from an early age, Justin Ritts has been attracted to the Van Hook Arm of the lake as the North Dakota native used to camp in the area before there was a developed camping site.
It was those memories and experiences that drew the adult back to the area this summer as he and his wife Dawn are the new managers of the Van Hook Resort.
Justin’s family has a place on Van Hook so the couple was familiar with the resort after visiting a few summers in a row. Then when the young couple from Colorado heard that previous owner Rick Folden was thinking about retiring, things just fell into place.
“It’s like a little oasis; you don’t expect to see what you see when you drive into Van Hook,” Dawn said. “You expect more of the same big open spaces and you drive into Van Hook and it’s all green with trees and a great little neighborhood. We just really always liked Van Hook.”
Justin added, “Just the people down here are so nice. It’s really a family place.”
Justin’s connection to Lake Sakakawea dates back the 1980s as his sister has an island named after her whopping walleye she reeled in. Snoopy Island got it’s name because she caught an 8 pound walleye on a snoopy pole.
The Ritts’ moved in March just in time for the late season blizzard to give the couple a taste of true North Dakota weather. The couple is currently staying with their in-laws but are looking for a permanent place. Luckily, Justin’s background is in landscaping and maintenance so that aspect of the business is not too overwhelming.
 


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