Hecla Resort purchase by Lakeview goes ahead

The new owner of the Hecla Island Resort, Lakeview Hotels and Resorts, is hoping to start taking reservations as early as this spring.

The Winnipeg hotel company has officially purchased the mothballed resort and golf course, located 180 kilometres north of Winnipeg.

Lakeview president Keith Levit would not disclose the purchase price, or the specific amount of a loan the provincial government is providing.

The Hecla resort was closed in 2010, after Winnipeg's Paletta family extensively remodeled the facility and operated it for several years.

The resort was mothballed for about a year and a half as it went through bankruptcy proceedings.

Levit says the facility is still in amazing shape, but Lakeview will have to focus on different clients than what the previous owners were targeting before.

"It'll be more of the family-friendly type of resort and the market that we're after," he said.

"Paletta's put a lot of money into this property, and in order to make a business plan work with that kind of investment, you really need to attract a different market than what we're going to be able to attract."

Levit said the company hopes to offer rooms, golf and wedding packages at reasonable prices.

Lakeview will also take advantage of its ownership of another resort nearby in Gimli, he added.

The resort and an 18-hole golf course were originally built by the province on Hecla Island in Lake Winnipeg more than 30 years ago. A private company took over the resort in 2005 before it was then sold to the Paletta family.

One of Hecla's long-standing problems has been its location. While picturesque, it is a two-hour drive north of Winnipeg and it has had trouble attracting winter business.

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