Sandy Smith was brought in as a full partner with the family owned Kurilla Real Estate.
Smith, born and raised in the lakes area started buying and selling real estate in this market in 1990. Even when his day job was as a professional hockey player, Smith said he'd buy a lake cabin and fix is up during his summers. Smith was drafted by Pittsburgh Penguins in 1986.
Kurilla Real Estate, which is geared toward upper-end residential lakeshore and real estate, has 19 full-time agents and a Nisswa-based office. Smith said the business is growing, recently added agents and has staff that specialize in off-water properties such as the Baxter area.
While the real estate market had definitely slowed down compared to the early years in the decade, Smith said the lakes region is insulated from national housing trends. He expects spring to bring a stronger market.
The number one reason for the market slowdown here (along with a glut of available homes) came as sellers were used to 15 to 20 percent yearly appreciation and buyers were no longer willing to pay those increases, Smith said.
Smith said he loves the area and was excited about the opportunity to join Kurilla.
The Brainerd Lakes Welcome Center recently had its 100,000th visitor since opening in May of 2005, Kathy Schroeder, chamber tourism director, reported.
Crow Wing Power reports it is offering to send three area high school students to the nation's capital in an all-expense paid trip. Students from 10 area high schools in Crow Wing, Cass and Morrison counties are eligible for the trip planned June 9-14.
Students must be a high school junior to qualify and must receive electric service from Crow Wing Power. Selected students will spend six days with hundreds of students from across the country learning about government and visiting sites in Washington D.C.
In order to enter, students need to write a short essay describing a "new energy technology idea, or a futuristic energy thought." Contest forms are available from area high school counselors or by contacting Crow Wing Power at (800) 648-9401 or online at www.cwpower.com.
The deadline is Feb. 16.
Breezy Point Resort added an indoor pool and Jacuzzi at the Breezy Point Inn & Suites through Kraus Anderson Construction, Minneapolis. And the resort added a "Boathouse Reunion House" near the Breezy Point Marina. The reunion house is expected to open in May.
RENEE RICHARDSON, senior reporter, can be reached at renee.richardson@ brainerddispatch.com or 855-5852.
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