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A view from above, and a view straight on, showcases the spiral staircase in the dining room and living room area.
A view from above, and a view straight on, showcases the spiral staircase in the dining room and living room area.

Simply Beautiful

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Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Looks are certainly deceiving when seeing Russ Maring's home from the outside.

Although the fountain out front, lion statues at the door and patios in front and off to the side all indicate this is an upscale house, it's not until a person gets in the front door and starts walking around that they learn there's a seemingly endless number of rooms.

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"It's a good house. It's good for entertaining, good for the kids, good for all that stuff," Maring said.

Located at 940 South Shore Drive in Detroit Lakes, Maring and his partner in the hotel business, Jon Wimbush, purchased the land 33 years ago. Back then, it was a resort named Allen's Cabins.

"There were cabins all over the place and a lodge," Maring said.

Once they purchased the land, some of the cabins were torn down, some were moved to the YMCA on Cormorant Lake, and two were left standing next to where the garages now stand.

On the other side of the garages and cabins, the two families put in a shared swimming pool and tennis court, located between the two main houses.

Eight years ago, the Marings remodeled and added onto their home.

On the main level, there is a guest bedroom and bathroom, another bathroom, the kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry, pantry and a bar for entertaining.

The kitchen is open to the dining room and a sitting area, so it's easy for family and guests to be together while preparing food.

Maring's office is also on the main level. Formally a deck on the house, his office is now filled with a sitting area, desk and a wall of pictures with the Marings and various awards and pictures with celebrities.

"I just said I want this for my office, and they (designed) around it," he said.

Curio cabinets in the dining room are filled with pieces collected from around the world from various trips the Marings have taken.

Maring's wife had some health problems, making it difficult to move between levels of the house, so he had an elevator installed to take her from floor to floor. She passed away last December.

"It's a new elevator made to look old," he said.

The lower level of the house includes a guest bedroom with a fireplace and a bathroom and walk-in closet, with a private patio area that faces the beach and lake.

"There's still enough elevation to look out at the lake," he said.

There is a second and third guest bedroom downstairs, a bathroom, an exercise room and a recreation area with a pool table, television and kitchenette.

"This is for the kids and the grandkids," he said.

Maring's kids live in Fargo, he said, so they come to visit often.

The downstairs also boasts a large enclosed deck that overlooks the lake as well.

Upstairs is the master bedroom, two bathrooms and a walk-in closet.

Upstairs also houses a football room. Maring has overstuffed couches and a large television for the games. The room also has a small fridge, microwave and sink for food and beverages.

Twisting back down to the main level is a spiral staircase.

"I wanted to keep the staircase because the elevator isn't fast enough for me."

Maring now splits his time between his Detroit Lakes home and Scottsdale, Ariz., but in the beginning, he was just a North Dakota guy who had no idea what he was purchasing when he bought the former resort.

"We didn't have a clue what lake living was like," he said of him and Wimbush. "We bought it in the middle of winter, sight unseen."

Thirty-three years later, anyone can see it was a good move.

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