Don and Gloria Lamberton are entering their 28th season as owners and operators of Knouff Lake Resort, about a 45 minute drive from Sun Peaks. It will likely be the last year they greet guests to the lakeside property.
They placed the property for sale in July and while potential buyers tour the cabins, store and out buildings, the couple are reflecting on their years on the lake and years after retirement.
After leaving the jewelry manufacturing business in White Rock, B.C. they moved to the remote property in 1990. The change took some getting used to, being far from a store and their friends, but they got to work and began a complete overhaul of the property.
“It took a little adjustment but we fell in love with it,” Don said.
Don worked alongside a crew to rebuild roofs, refloat the dock, build a new store and restore cabins, some built more than 80 years prior.
They took out swaths of trees killed by pine beetles, added lawns and landscaped the property to create sites for motorhome and tent camping.
Gloria focused on decorating and making the store and cabins feel welcoming and warm.
“I’ll rough something up and she’ll finish it,” Don said.
Now the various types of camping sites and accommodation across 46 acres are booked all summer and much of the other seasons. The same groups and families return year after year to fish on the lake and reunite with Don and Gloria.
They said the guests have been steady, some from before they purchased the resort still return, and they have had the chance to watch children grow up. Don said some of his favourite memories are of watching kids hook their first fish off the dock.
The lake was stocked with Rainbow trout that now thrive. Fish as large as 23.5 pounds have been caught and continue to be the goal of anyone angling on the lake.
Gloria said they’re ready to move on and have prepared themselves to retire.
Once the property is sold they won’t be going far. Their home is on an adjacent lot and they plan to stay and work on the other property. Don’s dream is to create a park setting with trails, gazebos and ponds.
They will also be around to help the new owners and enjoy the lake.
“Nature did so well,” Don said. “Once we took off and looked around to see where we’d like to live and we turned around. There’s no place better than this.”