We are excited to announce the new owners of The Sportsman’s Lodge, Villas, and Campground – an awardwinning collection of Lake of the Woods properties are Minnesota native Joe Swanson and his business partner, Pipasu Soni.
Joe understands and shares the same core values and high-quality guest service expectations as the Hennums because he’s walked in their shoes. He is down-to-earth and built his business from the bottom up. Joe grew up in a small mining town on the North Shore of Lake Superior and currently resides in Minnesota with his wife and two children. They love to travel and live where they are in the world. Hence, he invests in properties and appreciates seeing multiple generations of folks making memories. He invests on a 100-year plan and rarely sells.
Pipasu is equally excited about being part of a great Minnesota institution on the Lake of the Woods. Growing up in East Tennessee, Pipasu spent considerable time outdoors as part of the Boy Scouts. Pipasu currently resides in Winnipeg, MB, where he lives with his wife and three children. Similar to Joe, Pipasu takes a longterm view on investing in properties and really places emphasis on driving a culture that makes it a top choice for customers and the place to work for employees.
In planning for succession, the Hennum family sought to find a buyer who would carry on the legacy of first-rate lodging, camping, and fishing amenities, warm and friendly hospitality, and the high quality of guest service for which the Sportsman’s brand is known. For the Hennums, that also meant developing the Resorts’ leadership team and selecting an owner who would continue the longstanding commitment to the Sportsman’s staff and the local community. This is exactly what Joe plans to do.
“We’re deeply committed to advancing the culture and reputation of Sportsman’s Lodge,” Swanson said. “The Sportsman’s team is the best we’ve met in the Fishing business. That’s a tribute to the Hennums’ leadership and hard work to create a community and experience beloved by so many.”
“I knew when I saw Joe Swanson’s name on the list of potential buyers that he was one of us. He shares a Minnesota history, our core values, and our commitment to the community. Pipasu Soni’s experience and talent stack are also exceptional. I’m confident we’ve selected an ownership team that is deeply committed to continuing the fishing and camping tradition of creating memorable vacation experiences for guests for years to come,” Hennum said.
The Minnesota-based hospitality management company, Leisure Hotels & Resorts, has been hired to assist the Sportsman’s Lodge team with day-to-day management. Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a small dedicated team specializing in independent resorts. They are passionate about hospitality and have over 100 years of experience in the industry. Like Joe, this team has worked from the bottom up, and they look forward to welcoming you back to Sportsman’s Lodge.