History and Family Tradition

Minnesota Family Resorts – River Point Resort®

Minnesota family resorts vacations at River Point Resort & Outfitting Co. is a tradition since River Point was established in 1944 as one of the finest Ely, Minnesota resorts by the Koschak family, and since then the mission of this family endeavor has been to continue to provide a fine recreational facility amidst the beauty of the natural environment in the Superior National Forest, with an opportunity for families and friends to find balance and harmony in their lives, to reconnect with their inner self, with each other, and with nature–all in a peaceful, safe, and glorious unparalleled wilderness setting, found at River Point Resort & Outfitting Co.

The best vacation don’t have to break the bank. Trade in your hectic schedules, mowing and trimming the lawn, the kid’s soccer, football, and baseball practices, the daycare center and take all the kids to the lake. They’ll cherish the memory of quality family vacation time…a Minnesota family resorts vacation time!

We welcome your to come and share in the River Point tradition as we enter our 79th year of “Making Wilderness Memories” for generations of families who enjoy a vacation Up North at the lake…a true Minnesota family resorts tradition!

History And Tradition – The Early Years

The site of the River Point lodge is steeped in both family history and in the tradition of the family vacation resorts of Minnesota.  River Point has been in the same MN resort family. . .the Koschak family. . . for 79 years, and before that the Laurel Indians (dated 500 B.C.) called this tranquil northern wilderness near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, or BWCA for short, their home.

Fran and Frank Koschak began the resort in 1944 with only two cabins, and later expanded to seven rustic lakefront housekeeping cabins. Their vision was to create a tradition of Minnesota family fishing vacation whereby families returned every year to enjoy each other in a superior wilderness location and to catch fish. In 1976, their son, Steve, and wife, Jane (also born and raised in Ely) took over the operation of the facility with a vision of greater expansion and dreams of providing more comforts for their guests.

Beginning with the addition of inside bathrooms (yes, that is correct), septic systems, drain fields, and hot running water, Steve and Jane began the journey to “modernize” the Minnesota MN family resort experience in those early decades along with continuing their teaching careers as master teachers in a suburb of Minneapolis where they made their home for the winter months.

In the late spring, summer, and early fall Steve and Jane lived at the resort while managing and maintaining it. A very busy life, especially so due to the fact that they did all the building, remodeling, and updating of all the accommodations and took care of the maintenance of the mile of wilderness property themselves, with the help of their two young sons–lovingly calling their many, many years of family effort and hard work: “sweat-equity”.  As their sons grew so did the facility, and in 1994, they began formally outfitting paddling guests for canoe trips into the Boundary Waters. After tearing down the small “old cabin” which was their summer home for 22 years a new, spacious home was erected in the same south-facing location and included an operational center housing a front guest office, a mobility accessible bathroom, and a back office for handling all the day to day needs of the businesses, along with the residence. In the 2002, some twenty-six years after they took over the operation, Jane and Steve sold their “winter” home in Plymouth, MN and with their son, James, moved back “home” to River Point to live year-round.

Fourteen Accommodations – Wildwood Lodge – Marina – Canoe Outfitting

Today there are fourteen accommodations at their MN family vacation resort ranging in size from 1-3 bedrooms, five with double whirlpool baths, most with fireplaces, nine vacation home cabins with screen porches, many with private docks, and creature comforts unheard of in the 60’s and 70’s.

As second generation owners of River Point, they increased the offerings at the marina with the addition of pontoon boats, pro-fishing and touring boats, a Bait & Tackle Shop, and continued to provide their guests with the opportunity to enjoy a Boundary Waters canoe trip by being completely outfitted with all equipment, canoes, and fine food for either guided or unguided overnight canoeing adventures.

No longer in the traditional school classroom, Jane and Steve avidly share their knowledge in the natural wilderness classroom at River Point. Through the efficient help, energy, and commitment of their son, James, who graduated from college with a Construction Management degree, along with his amazing and talented fiancée, Krista, and an excellent staff the operation of River Point continues to grow and adapt to meet the needs of today’s resort vacationers and canoeists, who love the adventure of paddling the BWCA, the thrill of catching fish, the hiking, the swimming, having a bonfires, taking a steam in the sauna, and love the tradition of the Minnesota MN family vacation.

The vision that Fran and Frank Koschak had back in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s to create a Minnesota family fishing vacation still holds true today. However, Jane, Steve, James, and Krista have added many other recreational pursuits, activities, and adventures in addition to fishing for families to take part in.

Today’s family will enjoy their time together, and begin to build their own Minnesota family resorts tradition of a “great week at the lake!”

A Combined Background Of Over 140 Years

With a combined background of over 140 years of educational knowledge and experience in resorting, outfitting, and “Making Wilderness Memories,” Steve, Jane, James, and Krista offer a service that continues the River Point history and tradition of the Koschak family, and the Minnesota family resorts vacation begun so many years ago.

“a week at the lake”

“Other destinations beckon, but few can beat the classic Minnesota family resorts vacation. Up North, there’s a lake cabin with my name on it. I don’t own, it, and I never will. But, for a week in June, July, or August, it’s mine…lake resorts. I have great memories of that…little has changed about the classic formula of sun, sand and water.”                                           -St. Paul Pioneer Press


At River Point, we know how important your Holiday is to you, and the amount of time and effort you invest in it. We are dedicated to being here for you, to answer your questions, to share our love of this place, and to help you and your family in anyway possible to make for a peaceful, happy, and carefree time at the lake enjoying the spacious canopy of the birch and pine trees over River Point, the clean waters of Birch Lake and the South Kawishiwi River, and the star studded night skies.

Let us make River Point Resort & Outfitting Co. your special place…

“your home away from home.”

Steve & Jane Koschak and James Koschak & Krista Jonson

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