Find out the history behind why Fair Hills Resort is more than a vacation hub for those who visit!
Summertime vacations all hold a special place in our hearts. Whether it’s memories of time spent with family or friends, hours spent by the water, or maybe roasting marshmallows over the fire; we all have something we cherish from our younger years spent in the sun. There sits a place on Pelican Lake that has been home to many of these kinds of memories for almost 100 years-Fair Hills Resort.
Fair Hills resort is home to many things, but arguably the most important, it houses almost a centennial of memories. Since 1926, the same family has owned the resort and has transformed it into what it is today. In the summertime, you will find friends out on the golf course, families sitting around the campfire, children exploring with their day camp counselors and so much more.
The current resort President and Owner, along with her husband and sister, Beth Schupp is the fourth generation in her family to own and operate the resort, and there have been many other family members to share that journey.
In 1926, Beth’s great grandfather and grandfather came from Glenwood, MN and bought the resort. Years later, in 1974, Beth’s father took over the resort. Before the torch was passed down yet again, Beth, her husband and their family moved away before returning to the shores of Pelican Lake.
When Beth took over the resort in 2006, and while the family had already spent years there and knew the resort well, this adventure would be a new one for the family. Even though the thought of overtaking an entire resort seemed daunting, they knew between the guests, staff and each other, they would have many more years of enjoying their second home to come. Beth’s daughter, Emily Meyers, grew up running around the resort just like her mother, and now she serves as the resort’s creative director, handles the advertising, website, and social media, and runs the Wildflower Golf Course across the road from the resort entrance.
You can now go anywhere in the world and you might run into someone that worked at Fair Hills Resort.-Emily Meyers, Creative Director at Fair Hills Resort
Although running the resort is the family’s full-time job, it’s not just a job. Between both sides of the family, there is a lot of history surrounding the resort.
“There is a lot of family history on both sides of my family because my folks met here when my dad’s family would vacation for two weeks every summer. So there are a lot of memories,” Emily said. “When we met he was at eight and I was six,” Beth explained.
“And then Emily’s husband was working here, their family has a cabin just three cabins away from Fair Hills, and they met 20 years ago probably. We have another daughter who met her husband here when she was about probably six or seven also, their family came every year from Iowa.”
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These repeat vacationers are part of what makes Fair Hills so special, and what allows special bonds to be created. Be that between guests, between staff and even between the staff and those families they work with every day. Families visit from South Korea, Germany, England and all over the United States and have found their spot at Fair Hills. In addition to international families staying there, they employ a lot of international workers who love to spend their summers at the resort.
“[I got] an email from a girl who came every year in the summertime and I used to play with her,“ Beth said. “She lives in London and was at a conference in Germany. They were having this get-to-know-you meeting and she ran into Bogdan, who came from Eastern Europe and worked here around 20 years ago. He was one of our first foreign students, and they’re connected through this Fair Hill’s memory.”
“There are stories like this all the time, which sound kind of incredible, but honestly, it happens all the time,” Emily said.
The people who share these experiences at Fair Hills resort are able to do so through all of the inclusive activities and programming they offer. Anything from golf, tennis, or waterskiing lessons or tournaments to baking, scavenger hunts, or capture the flag with rec directors. Spread across 40 acres of land, anyone of any age can find something they will enjoy.
We know how precious peoples’ time is. Especially vacation time. We hope that when you leave Fair Hills Resort after your vacation you feel like you’ve made the decision to spend that precious time in the right place. That you made a good investment all around, both in yourself, your family, and the experiences you gained. We always thank our guests for trusting us with their vacation time and for choosing to spend it with us at Fair Hills.”-The Fair Hills Team
I don’t know how many places there still are in the world where you can go to a place and have a similar experience to what your grandpa had.”– Emily Meyers
Children have the opportunity to do things independently, while parents can find times to relax; and at the same time, the entire family can spend time together in activities as well. Just about every activity that Fair Hills offers, is included in their packages.
“We have shuffleboard, we have kayaks, we have canoes, and we have paddle boats. We have a basketball court, playground, pool, and hot tub. A nine-hole golf course that you can go golf at any time, there’s frisbee golf, four tennis courts, six pickleball courts, and a partridge in a pear tree,” Emily said.
You can go on morning walks that are led to explore the area, attend fitness classes like yoga and tai chi, and even visit the nighttime programming like campfires, sing-alongs, and bingo. The coolest part? Most of these activities are long-held traditions that have been incorporated into the resort for many years.
One of the longest-standing traditions still held at Fair Hills is their hootenanny. Every Tuesday night, the staff put on a musical show for the guests. Throughout the week, you may find many activities that involve some sort of music, another tradition that has planted its roots in Fair Hills. Some of the other traditions are weekly talent shows (a winning T-shirt prize included!), a Wednesday night sing-along and cocktail hour on the deck overlooking Pelican Lake, and a picnic on the big boat the same night for the kids.
While many of the traditions and memories still live on, the resort itself has seen some changes and growth in its many years in operation. What began as a few cabins scattered on the land, is now over 100 different cabins for families to enjoy while staying at the resort. But as the resort saw new spaces being built or the installation of wifi, the feeling that was first created by its guests and families many years ago has stayed the same.
“I feel like so many things have changed in the last few generations as far as communication, technology, and so on. You can come here and have the same experience as your grandfather did,” Emily said. “I really value the fact that people disconnect when they’re here. You can be as busy as you want or as relaxed as you want, but I think it gives you an opportunity to reconnect with your family and your loved ones in a way that just doesn’t happen in everyday life all that often.”
Whether you’re visiting Fair Hills Resort for a work retreat, a wedding or a family vacation, don’t travel far to find a whole new world for you and your family.
Fair Hills Resort
24270 Co. Hwy 20
Detroit Lakes, MN 56501