Opinion: Lakes country as good as any [UPDATED]Published 7:07am Monday, May 5, 2014 Updated 9:09am Monday, May 5, 2014
Maybe Otter Tail County needs a new slogan, “Otter Tail County: We can make your dreams a reality.”
I say this because, after several experiences, I’m convinced that the primary reason that people move to the lakes country of Otter Tail County is affordability.
The fact is, you can buy a nice home on a clear, fishable, swimmable lake in Otter Tail County, which is only an hour from Fargo and three hours from the Twin Cities, at a price that middle-income, regular folks can afford.
That simply isn’t possible in other vacation areas.
All you have to do is watch one of those home-buying shows to figure that out. You want to buy oceanfront property? A million may get you a small efficiency condo.
Even an area such as Brainerd is out of the price range for most. On their premiere lakes, a premiere lake home will run in the $2 million to $3 million range.
There are more affordable places in the Brainerd area, of course, but in general, the prices are a couple notches higher than Otter Tail County.
And the fact is, Otter Tail County has just about as much to offer. I watched a TV commercial for Brainerd recently, showing fishing, golfing, water sports, auto racing, dining out and shopping.
I thought to myself a lake such as Otter Tail is just as good as any in the Brainerd area for walleye.
And while our golf courses don’t have the name recognition as many in Brainerd do, there are plenty of good courses around here.
We also have enough restaurants and shopping to give lake residents their fill.
Otter Tail County may never have the prestige of Brainerd. But the fact is, it doesn’t have to. We have affordability on our side.
For many, we can fulfill the dreams of many, where Brainerd and other big-name vacation areas are simply out of their price range.
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I couldn’t help but wear my Wild jersey again on Friday morning. After defeating Colorado on Wednesday in overtime, the 4-3 series win represents the first time a Minnesota professional sports team has advanced in the playoffs since Brett Favre and the Vikings defeated the Dallas Cowboys, 34-3, on January 17, 2010.
Those four years represent 16 seasons of futility. Of those 16, in only three — Twins’ 2010 season, the Vikings’ 2012 season and the Wild’s 2013 season — did a Minnesota team even make the playoffs.
The ineptitude is stunning, really. It would be easy to say that it’s because we’re a small market team compared to the New York and Chicago, so we don’t have the money to spend on high-priced free agents.
Except that all of the teams have spent money, and yielded little. Maybe we have a hard time attracting good general managers who can find talented players.
Yes, I did not include the Minnesota Lynx, the WNBA team that won two championships in the last three years.
Believe me, I have watched them, cheered them on, and believe they are highly entertaining.
In fact, if you as a fan feel we should include them in my statistical analysis, I’m all for it.
Enough of the negative.
The Wild will be playing at least four more games. It’s worth celebrating, and wearing my jersey.
Joel Myhre is The Journal’s publisher. Email him at email@example.com