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The historic Chase on the Lake resort on the shores of Leech Lake in Walker, Minn., has reinvented itself a few times in its 101-year-history.

Built in 1922 by Bert and Louisa Chase, the Chase Hotel was marketed as a first-class resort at the dawn of the automobile era, so says the National Register of Historic Places. For decades, the Chase attracted tourists to splash and swim at the property's beach and fish for walleye and musky in South Walker Bay.

A raging fire shuttered the resort in 1997. But a decade later, it was rebuilt in its original footprint. And now, after three years being run by nonlocal owners, the resort is back in the hands of a member of the community — which locals see as a boon for residents and tourists.

"It's going to be great to have that face that we know. It was a completely different feeling when it was sold and managers were brought in," said Cindy Wannarka, head of the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. "It felt like a big change from back when it first started and the families lived right here and you'd run into them at the grocery store."

Israel Moe, a Walker native who has worked as a real estate broker and developer for more than two decades, bought the resort from the Miami-based investment firm Rialto Capital for $5.7 million last month. He said the investment firm couldn't profitably operate the resort. Moe and his wife, Nicole, also own and operate Bluewater Lodge and Trails RV Park, both on Leech Lake.

The purchase includes the 90,000-square-foot resort's 70 hotel rooms and few dozen condos, as well as a restaurant, marina, indoor pool and spa. Moe also purchased an adjacent parcel of land with employee housing.

"It's a landmark in our city," Moe said. "People stay at the Chase because it's waterfront and because once they're there, the city of Walker really acts as the main amenity to the Chase's guests."

Guests can rent bicycles and watercraft, or sign up for fishing outings led by experts in the summer. In winter visitors can rent ice fishing houses, explore miles of cross-country ski trails or go ice skating on the frozen lake.

Moe said he plans to lean into the "lake vibe" while honoring the resort's history. Stepping inside the hotel makes that immediately evident, Wannarka said.

"You walk in the main entrance and you get a very old-fashioned feel with the dark wood and kind of the amber lighting. It's beautiful. But then as you go in, the condos and the spa are very modern and sleek," she said.

Walker is a quaint town, about three hours northwest of the Twin Cities, with a downtown that's still lined with locally owned businesses and restaurants. The town has fewer than 1,000 residents but its population swells during summer and winter months as folks seek out recreation opportunities on the state's third-largest lake.

"It's just a community you fall in love with," Wannarka said. "It's a little town but, man, it sure has a lot going for it."