"I have a lot of roots in the resort. When I left for college I always thought that someday I would come back and take over the resort," Bugbee said. "The lake is part of my heritage."
Bugbee said he admired and envied his friends who were able to grow up here and never left home. "I know there is a big world out there. At 18, I wanted to explore the world, but learned it is not all that it is cracked up to be," he added.
"I don't need to live in the big city to find personal fulfillment," Bugbee said.
After majoring in political science, Bugbee worked for the American Heart Association, doing fund raising around the state of Minnesota for eight years, but came home every weekend to help at the resort. Bugbee would also drive back weekends to be active in the Koronis Lake Association.
He served as the lake association president for about 15 years. "Those were great years because I was working to preserve the lake for the future," he added. "The lake is a strong part of my spirituality. I care for it a lot."
Bugbee also worked two years in Minneapolis for the Heart Association, which brought him closer to home. Bugbee then worked 10 years as development director at the Benedict Center in St. Cloud. "It was a great job which brought me a step closer to home," Bugbee said.
Bugbee leased the resort from his parents, Jack and Audrey, seven years before deciding to turn it into a full-time job. In 1995, Paul took over the resort full-time. However, he enjoyed his work at the Benedict Center and still works there one day a week.
"My parents and grandparents ran the resort part-time with full-time jobs on the side. The resort is the closest thing to utopia for me and I hope I can make it into a full job. I get to meet a lot of people and make new friends," Bugbee said.
"Paynesville is a great town with some great people," Bugbee said. "It is the little things that people in the community do for our guests which keep them coming back year after year."
Bugbee said the resort is his cause at present. He would like to develop the resort into a year-round business, offering snowmobiling and ice fishing opportunities to guests. He enjoys the resortĻs proximity to the Twin Cities but enjoys living in Paynesville.
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