Lakes Area Inn


Growing on the Prairie

Chamber Member Highlights

Spring 2024, Lakes Area Inn

Very few people who call Starbuck home don’t know Kevin and Judy Stadler!  They have immersed themselves into our community after buying the Lakes Area Inn in 2019.  What a fabulous example they’ve been of becoming one of our own.

The history of the 22-room motel is that it was built in 1988-89 and had three previous owners before Kevin bought it to become the 4th owner.  He had been in the hotel business his whole career working at many high-end facilities in Minneapolis and surrounds.  With that background, he’s done much renovating and upgrading of Lakes Area Inn, including new TV’s, bedding, painting, and removal of sofa beds.   They’ve put money and work into their separate building housing laundry, and a fully equipped kitchenette and dining room, making it a perfect place to have a long-term stay at the Inn or enjoy a private space for your meetings or meals.

As a new business owner in Starbuck, Kevin has a lot to say about doing your homework to find the right business, in the right town.  Talk with the mayor, check on crime, chat with other business owners in town to gauge their success.  When doing his own research about Starbuck, he mentioned seeing a video of a Heritage Day Parade and was excited seeing the crowd.  (meaning the need for housing for visitors!)  He is supportive of all the events happening in Starbuck.  That activity and “life” creates a place people want to visit.

Kevin joined the Starbuck Chamber the year he bought the Inn and is a board director and has been on the board for all but a short stint since moving here.  He appreciates how this role helps one know what’s going on, be part of decision-making, and ultimately “helping the town helps every business” as well.  To that end, he’s supportive of every existing and new downtown business; both for his clients to have spots to eat, shop, and get supplies, but for he, his mom, Judy, and his daughter to live a full life.  Judy LOVES bingo-thanks VFW!

Kevin is really pleased with the clientele his Inn attracts.  All very respectful of their rooms, great payers, and all- around easy people to have as guests.  His business is seasonal, so when/if Starbuck creates more winter events or has businesses that bring in off-season travelers, that’d be just fine with Kevin!

Watch for the improvements they anticipate this year, landscaping, solar panels, more marketing and maybe a new exterior paint color!  In brainstorming businesses they’d like to see in town, a car wash comes first to mind.  More housing is needed, and he suggests businesses geared to young adults; axe throwing, mini golf, baseball batting cages.  (so fun-right?!)

Kevin and Judy ended our conversation by saying they feel so lucky to have found a need where that they can fill in Starbuck and that they are now part of a community that is so welcoming!  They could have landed anywhere, and they are thrilled it is here. To quote Kevin directly: “We’re all responsible for our own happiness, don’t let anyone pull you down!”