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Socialism Saves Roy Lake Resort

In today’s South Dakota socialism, you and I and all South Dakotans now own and operate the Roy Lake Resort. After five years of being rejected by the free market, longtime owner Jan Pitzl got government (that’s We, the People!) to buy the lakeside peninsular motel, cabins, and c-store. She even gave Game Fish and Parks a hefty discount:

No one came forward to offer the $1,195,000 she originally asked for the personal property and possessory interest in April 2015. The price kept coming down, but there still were no takers.

The Roy Lake State Park district office took over March 2. The resort is in the park, 10 miles southeast of Lake City or 25 miles north of Webster, on SD 10. Operations include watercraft rental, hotel and cabin reservations and a convenience store.

The department agreed January 31 to pay $449,000, according to Scott Simpson, director for the state Parks and Recreation Division.

That’s the amount that was listed in the November prospectus [Bob Mercer, “SDGFP Is Now Running Roy Lake Resort,” KELO-TV, 2020.05.12].

Investing in a tourism venue may not make financial sense right now, but getting our mitts on the Roy Lake Resort right now, keeping it open for campers and boaters, and maintaining the property is a good investment in future recreational business, when we all have our coronavirus shots and can get out and enjoy the campgrounds and beaches in full force… maybe next year.


  1. John 2020-05-13 13:53

    Ouch for Jan. Hooray for South Dakota.
    It’s likely the price / attractiveness of the “deal” was lost on having the political vicissitudes of the SD GFP commission and state politics as a “partner”. Once, in the decades from say the 1960s to 2000, they were reliable partners. Since then, those “partners” turned to opportunistic sharks unwilling to share the risk while demanding more “reward”. Certainly the SD GFP will increase the rates. My marker is if the rates lock-out SD high school teachers and their families — then the camping, renting rates are excessive.

  2. mike from iowa 2020-05-13 15:23

    Noem could set up her fake noise studio and claim she is in the Hamptons as long as you can’t see Mt drumpfmore in the distance and she doesn’t pan around the area with her camera.

  3. Loren 2020-05-13 17:06

    I always wanted to own a place on the lake. ;-)

  4. grudznick 2020-05-13 17:24

    It’s a bog filled with Curlyleaf pondweed. That lady really pull the wool over the state’s eyes and robbed them.

  5. JW 2020-05-13 19:11

    Grudz. That’s Sago Pond Weed, Duck Potato and Coontail.

  6. Debbo 2020-05-13 20:31

    I’m glad the state is keeping that resort alive. There are several nice lakes up that way. Friend of mine has a cabin on Enemy Swim. Used to go to rowdy dances at Blue Dog.

  7. grudznick 2020-05-13 20:53

    grudznick used to go to rowdy dances at Enemy Swim back in the day. Place was called, I think, The Sandy Beach, and the gals there were ordinary looking but extraordinary dancers. The covids won’t let those places be like they used to be, so times are a-changing.

  8. clayton halverson 2020-05-13 21:47

    Roy lake is one of the most pristine swimming, fishing lakes in the state. I think having GFP run it is a solution that’s acceptable.
    People come from miles around every weekend to camp on the shores of that beautiful shoreline.

  9. Clyde 2020-05-14 00:52

    Well with the same kind of mentality as the folks that have managed and sold off our state railroads you can bet it was a heck of a deal for select Republicans and a lousy deal for the new owners.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-05-14 05:29

    Clyde, interesting to think we would sell off vital infrastructure like railroads but increase our holdings in seasonal tourism facilities.

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-05-14 05:34

    Clayton, how much business does the resort get in the winter?

  12. grudznick 2020-05-14 12:50

    Mr. H, back in grudznick’s day Roy Lake store was run by a fellow named Steele. There was little camping in the winter but the ice fishers and drivers-around still bought vast quantities of beer and bait.

  13. Clyde 2020-05-14 13:33

    Just always seems that in this good Repub state, or country for that matter, that state owned investments never seem to be a good investment for the taxpayer but we are quick to “privatize” any state assets that could be profitable for the state to own. Think there is pretty good money in the cement business now days!! Mean while seems that all the potentially profitable railroads are no longer held by the state yet we own plenty of unprofitable ones.

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