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Ready for a new season: MarDon Resort looks forward to a good 2021

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | March 1, 2021 1:01 AM

As the ice disappeared from the surface of Potholes Reservoir in recent warmer weather, MarDon Resort in Othello started getting calls asking if the boat ramp and fishing would be open.

Annie Meseberg, a co-owner at MarDon Resort alongside her mom, dad and brother, said she expected a lot of walleye fishermen out on the water Saturday and Sunday to take advantage of the warmth.

Meseberg on Thursday afternoon talked about some of the projects the resort wrapped up in the downtime during February and was looking forward, hopefully, to another busy spring and summer at the 8198 Highway 262 SE location.

The resort plans to reopen for guests by at least March 19 for St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Spring fishing tournaments are still all scheduled to go on as planned.

The first tournament on the docket this spring will be with the Columbia Basin Bass Club on March 20, according to the tournament calendar provided by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Meseberg said they’re looking forward to reopening The Beach House restaurant for indoor dining with the region now in Phase 2. She said they had some heaters placed around the patio area for outdoor dining before shutting the restaurant down at the end of January. Those worked pretty well for the hunters and fishermen typically around the resort during winter.

“The majority of our customers were fine with it because they are outdoorsmen and they were equipped with warm clothes, and, of course, we had the heaters,” Meseberg said.

The resort pulled up some carpet in a few rooms of the restaurant and put down new flooring. She said this will hopefully be easier to maintain and keep sanitary. Staff is currently working to space out tables to accommodate the limit of 25% capacity.

The resort also did some remodeling in the office building, and a brand-new miniature golf course was completed in the fall.

The new mini golf course is set to open April 2 and will be available during business operating hours, which fluctuate throughout the year. Adults can play a round for $10, while kids and seniors older than 60 can play for $5.

Levi Meseberg handled the designs for the course. Annie Meseberg said materials were tough to come by in May, so the project was pushed back due to the high number of guests during summer.

While many businesses in the tourism industry have been left to wait for regulations to relax, Meseberg said the resort was very fortunate to operate through the past year.

“You couldn’t find many places that were actually open and functioning,” Meseberg said. “We’re lucky because we cater to the fishermen and hunters, and they just go do that stuff all by themselves.”

With the spacing between RV and camping sites, she said, their setup at the resort works well for families to come and visit and stick within their own groups. Meseberg said a lot of people bought boats and RVs last year to get out and do something.

“It’s not usual that boat and RV sales are both trending upwards in the same year; it’s usually one or the other,” Meseberg said. “And in 2020, that was not the case.”

Meseberg said resort staff changed the work schedule somewhat to keep fewer people in the office and handle more things over the phone.

She said the goal through the pandemic was to make customers feel safe. And customers continued to visit.

“They were able to get out and recreate amongst their families and get out with their kids and give their kids an outlet to just get out and run around a little bit,” Meseberg said. “We felt very fortunate to offer that.”

Reservations for the summer are already ahead of where they were in February 2020 when things still looked normal, Meseberg said. She said she is hopeful the trend will continue upward in 2021, but expects they might see a little bit of dropoff later as more venues and opportunities open.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

Putters hang on the wall now in the recently renovated office building at MarDon Resort off State Route 262 on Thursday afternoon.

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Casey McCarthy/Columbia Basin Herald

The new miniature golf course at MarDon Resort off state Route 262 will be open to the public and resort guests on April 2.