Buena Vista

Buena Vista Resort

Written by Margaret Kurth

Sadie and Fletcher Hoyt moved from northern Iowa where they had been farmers to the Park Rapids area in 1946. They bought the property for Buena Vista Resort on the south shore of the east arm of Potato Lake. Buena Vista was the name of the tract of land on the south shore of the east.  Fletcher and Sadie took this as the name of their resort.

Construction of cabins began in 1946 and continued through 1949.  There were six housekeeping cabins plus one cabin where the Hoyts lived. There was also a building near the shore that had a small store and office. A fish cleaning house was built near the office. By 1949 they were open for business as a fishing camp. There were many Iowans who came north to Buena Vista to try Potato Lake fishing.  In the 1960’s Fletcher and Sadie built a new home on the hill overlooking the resort and stayed there until they retired from resort ownership and returned to Delavin MN (1981).

First cabin constructed
Fletcher & Sadie with Fletcher’s parents in front of one of the newly constructed cabins
Sadie Hoyt in a new cabin
Buena Vista late 1940s
The Hoyt’s daughter catching fish from the dock
Fletcher’s brothers: Leo and Wilber Hoyt 1949

Charles and Donna Hess had first purchased Whitaker’s Pine Rest Resort which was directly west of Buena Vista. In 1981 they bought Buena Vista Resort from the Hoyts and ran both resorts were bought by Walter Ringer. He eventually cleared the land and sold it as 3-300 foot lots.

Buena Vista Resort

As I have talked to people who lived on Potato Lake many spoke fondly of Fletcher and Sadie. All of Iowans who stayed at the resort had a great time and caught fish!  One year the area was troubled by a large black bear that was raiding the garbage cans at cabins along the shoreline including Buena Vista. Fletcher shot the bear and a picture and article were in the Park Rapids Enterprise newspaper.

Park Rapids Enterprise Bear story on Potato Lake

Kids from nearby cabins were always welcomed at the resort. Fletcher and Sadie would often invite them to play cards with them (500 was the favorite). Sadie was an accomplished fisherwoman and caught many walleyes off the dock at the resort.

Aerial View of Buena Vista Resort on Potato Lake