MISSION STATEMENT: We are dedicated to the consistent and certain delivery of quality services as measured by increased customer and employee satisfaction. Reservations required for meal cruises.
We have been a family-owned and operated business since 1974. Our first company was Pohl Construction, specializing in custom-built homes in boat-access only locations on Raquette Lake. Dean's signature on any house he built was a stained glass window some place! We also built floating docks, log lean-to kits and promoted propane delivery by barge to camps accessible by boat only. Eventually we added a housekeeping cottage, The Loft, to our array of income streams. For several years we offered garbage pick-up. We're basically entrepreneurs who look for all kinds of opportunities to earn a living! Dean has undertaken and accomplished some pretty amazing construction jobs, besides building homes!
In addition to these sources of income Dean was maintenance superintendent at Raquette Lake Camps and Donna was a teacher at Long Lake Central School. When the Camps changed ownership, the new owners brought in their own maintenance superintendent and Donna's teaching position was eliminated due to declining enrollment, a fate facing most communities here in the Adirondacks. Time to regroup and try to extend the season! Donna began to develop her receptive business, planning one-day and multi-day tours for groups of 20 or more and Dean decided to freeze the Durant into the ice and open up during the winter, catering primarily to snowmobilers.
Dean built the WW Durant during the winters of 1990 and 1991. He could only build in the winter because he had to tend to his construction/maintenance superintendent businesses in spring,summer and fall. Donna was teaching at the time. Building the Durant was not a solo effort by any means! Though Dean did most of the carpentry work, three of our employees played critical roles. Don Bird assisted with the thinking, engineering and planning. Garry Hazen did the plumbing and wiring. Bill Cooley installed the engines and did the mechanical work.
It wasn't as if we had ever been in the restaurant or bar business! But we figured we could hire that kind of expertise- advisors on menus and setting up the bar. We had the passion and the vision of what we wanted to achieve. We liked to think we were good at attracting quality workers, good at attention to detail and good at insistence on quality services. Dean had been navigating on Raquette Lake since he was a kid so we had that detail nailed. We both love history and relating the stories of how people lived, worked and played here. It turned out that Dean has a very melodious voice which carries well over the speaker system and he narrates a great story as we cruise.
We were eager to learn as much as possible about how to make a cruise and dine seasonal business survive and thrive in Raquette Lake. We talked with many passenger vessel owner-operators. We attended many trade shows, meetings and seminars. We read everything we could.
We've been blessed with many things: good health; four children with different talents and interests all contributing to earning a living as a family; wonderful employees; loyal customers. We are grateful to all who have helped us get to where we are now. We are beginning our 23rd season! Stay tuned! We're always looking for new opportunities! And they're there!