Bridges Bay Resort Expansion Update

Originally published: March 9, 2016

Bridges Bay Resort in Okoboji, IA is working on exciting renovations that are on track to open in May and June. Jodi Schwan of the Argus Leader wrote about the details below. 

The project will include a waterfront event and entertainment area featuring banquet space for weddings and other events and a restaurant with multiple dining spaces and patio.

“We’re still hoping in June. The restaurant will be open. The exterior patios are all subject to weather,” said Jon Broek of Sioux Falls-based Equity Homes, the project’s builder and designer. “But the restaurant will be open hopefully for Memorial Day weekend. If not that a week or so later.”

The property includes Bracco restaurant, run by the same Sioux Falls operators as Spezia and Bracco in Sioux Falls.

The new restaurant, The WaterFront, has the same operator.

Its menu will feature steak and seafood along with a variety of crepes. The owners have former ties to Minervas in Sioux Falls, which started as a creperie.

The crepes include varieties such as salmon, southwest chicken and lump crab cake.

“It’s kind of going back to you roots and bringing it back,” general manager Tom Hansen said. “We were just playing around with it, and crepes are kind of coming back and something you don’t see too often, but when they’re done well they’re amazing.”

The restaurant’s other signature item is flatbread pizza. It will offer a variety of combinations and built-it-yourself options. The pizzas will be served throughout the resort including poolside.

There also will be a large wine selection, craft beers and 12 beers on tap that all are craft or local along with a broad menu of bourbon, scotch and whiskey.

The restaurant will have formal and casual dining spaces and a private dining room that can be rented. The patio will be three times the size of the one Bracco has nearby at the same resort.

“You can go for your anniversary, but you can also be coming off the boat and get a flatbread pizza to go,” Hansen said.

Bookings in the event center – which accommodates up to 400 people – are solid, Broek said.

“They’re already heavily booking into 2017 and in 2016 there are still open dates, so if people have last-minute deals they have some dates,” he said. “Without being able to touch and feel it, we’re amazed at how many booking we have without anything to show but renderings.”

Another new addition since the expansion was announced is a zip line. It will launch riders over the top of a pond on the property toward the highest point with a view of all of the Iowa Lakes area.

“We have that ordered. It’s all being manufactured,” Broek said. “We’re doing some testing on the ground to make sure our towers are secure and hope to have that open in June also. If (the weather) stays like this, we’ll be looking good.”

Read the article in the Argus Leader