Jack & Ann Ruttger Celebrate 65 Years In The Resort Industry
The history hallway at Ruttger’s in Deerwood is lined with photographs that demonstrate the family history of the resort, starting with grandpa Joe.
“Well, if people want to use this, maybe we should build a cottage so he built a cottage, then another one, then another one and that’s how it started,” said Ruttger’s co-owner Jack Ruttger. “A very innocent beginning in 1898.”
The business has remained in the family since then with Jack and Ann leading the way for the last 65 years.
“I, of course, grew up with my father and watched him here and what he had done all of his life, so it is very enriching,” said Jack.
After so many years, they say their secret to success is all about having a family-focused attitude.
“We always feel like we are one big family,” said co-owner Ann Ruttger. “The guests, employees and everybody are friends. We like that feeling.”
It’s an atmosphere that keeps tradition alive.
“Some guests have been here for five generations and they go all the way back to the 1940s. It’s fun to be around them and visiting those people,” said Jack.
Long-time guests and employees continue to share stories from the many years of the Ruttger’s business.
“I’ve grown up here as our family has and it’s always just been accolades about our parents, we’ve heard that all our lives,” said Jack’s son Chris. “People appreciate their humility and their interest in everybody.”
A passion that continues to grow even after 65 years.
“That’s, I think, part of the key that makes Jack and Ann so special is their genuine interest in other people is great,” said daughter-in-law Joanne Ruttger.
And they wouldn’t want things any other way.
“Great way to make a living. Great way to live.”
The 65th anniversary celebration guest list is still growing with all of the friends Jack and Ann have made over the years.