Owners of Rowleys Bay Resort say they won’t rebuild after devastating fire

Drone video shows the aftermath of a fire that damaged the Rowleys Bay Resort in Door County
Published: Oct. 2, 2023 at 10:01 AM CDT
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ELLISON BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - The owners of Rowleys Bay Resort in Door County say they won’t rebuild after a devastating fire reduced a large portion of their building to rubble last month.

The fire broke out in the basement and destroyed a section of the property, including the lobby. The cause was being investigated.

Initially, the owners Jewel and Bob Ouradnik, said they planned to rebuild, but after reflection, they changed their minds.

“When we experienced the fire and destruction, we could only imagine ‘repair and rebuild’; it was the only path that we could see at that time,” the owners wrote in a Facebook post late last week. “Since then, we have been asking God to direct our path and help us to see what His plans are for us. The message is becoming more and more clear to us - it is time for someone else to carry on and build their own dreams.”

The Ouradniks said they have met with their commercial real estate agent and have already started conversations with prospective buyers. The Ouradniks also said they plan to retire.

“The Peterson Family have been good stewards of the land at Rowleys Bay since 1970. For 53 years, we have made this our home and our dream,” the Facebook post said. “We worked hard over the years to build the resort from a run down fishing camp, changing the name to Wagon Trail Resort in 1970. We then rebranded in 2010 and changed back to the original name, Rowleys Bay Resort, to embrace our history and heritage.”

No one was hurt in the fire.