Health, wellness and beauty is more than skin deep. Taking time to unwind, de-stress, have fun and make memories with family and friends helps anchor healthy living. Four generations of family at the Summerset Inn Resort and Summerset Boat Lifts have understood this concept. Their successful businesses provide a beautiful vacation location on land, and their watercraft lifts make it easier to enjoy the Lake on the water.
“‘If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right,’” was one of my grandfather’s favorite sayings,” remembers Angie Schuster, who now assists with management of the family businesses.
Dave and Kathy Brooks, Angie’s parents, were both born and raised in the St. Louis area and reveled in visiting the Lake as a young couple. Currently celebrating 50-plus years of marriage, Kathy says, “We loved our weekends and enjoyed vacationing here as a family, and wanted to offer that to our customers.”
In 1971, Dave, Kathy and her parents Dick and Babe Shinstock purchased five acres in Osage Beach. Over the next three years, all
four of them left their city jobs and invested everything they had into the idea that they could offer a small, family-friendly location where people could vacation. Plus, they would be able to continue to enjoy Lake life with their own family. Over the next decade they constructed a pool and several apartment-style buildings to accommodate their guests, all the while working secondary jobs to make a living.
Although they had good opportunities working for others during this time, they felt it was time to invest in an additional prospect. “In 1982, we were blessed to become the first Galva-Lift dealership,” Dave shares. The office for Summerset Inn Resort also serves as the office for their boat lift business. Their central location just off Jeffries Road in Osage Beach is very convenient to reach by both land and water.
Plus, someone is always available if a customer needs to purchase a lift or obtain parts, even on Sundays during the season. Dave recalls, “At first, my only helper was my father-in-law, Dick. I would pick up each lift individually at the factory in Camdenton.” Kathy adds that combined with dedication, hard work and some amazing employees, their businesses have become successful.
“We have been very blessed!” Dick’s motto held as Dave and Kathy grew their businesses. Their daughter Angie had always worked alongside her family members, and in 1992, Angie’s boyfriend Brian Schuster joined the team working summers as he attended college. He and Angie were married in 1995 and both have been fully involved with the businesses ever since. Around that same time Dave’s brother, Keith Brooks, moved his family to the Lake to join the boat-lift team full time.
The family began building their second location on Highway 5 north of Camdenton in 1995. Success continued, and the Brookses
broke ground on a much-needed addition to this shop in 2005. “The years from 2007 through 2011 were a test of endurance and
fortitude due to the economic downturn,” Dave comments. Then the unexpected occurred in 2012 as ShoreMaster, without any prior notice, shut down their Camdenton manufacturing facility. So later that year, the Brooks family decided to begin
their own manufacturing business, Mad Duck Marine Systems, in Linn Creek, Missouri, manufacturing the Galva-Hoist. Their
well-known “Lifting Your Dreams from Canoes to Cruisers” lifts are built to specification from PWC to 46,000 pounds in this convenient location between their Osage Beach and Camdenton facilities.
As the lift business grew so did their resort. They added villas— condominium-style units that were individually sold, usually to
long-time customers. “Our central location and family-friendly atmosphere were the birthplace of some lifelong friendships,” Kathy says. “We have generations of families that return to see their friends and enjoy Lake life every summer, creating lasting
memories in a simple, quaint environment.
There’s nothing fancy about our resort. It is simple with one- to five-bedroom units where families and friends gather to create lasting memories and traditions.”
Angie and Brian’s son, Gunnar, is now helping out around the resort and with public relations. As their next generation is rising to leadership, Dave and Kathy hope to enjoy a few more well-deserved times to unwind. They’re both excellent golfers, and Dave likes to hunt.
They really enjoy trips to Florida, and especially love to be with their grandson Gunnar. Just as Dave and Kathy and her parents did, Angie and Brian love to see families come to Summerset for good times, relaxation and to make memories. •