Latest Posts

O.M.G. Opens, Take a Look at Gorgeous Upgrades at the Hotel, and more!

After a long snow-filled winter, this spring has sure started with some great upgrades in Ortonville!

First, I stopped over at O.M.G. (Ortonville Mercantile & Gallery) – it is just across the street from my office and I’ve been watching them work on getting ready for a bit now.  So, when Mary Hillman of the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber told me they were now open… I headed over for a look!  Check out the photos below – and make a plan to stop in – Downtown Ortonville right across the street from the newly renovated building of  Ortonville Family Eyecare!  

Now… check out the work that has been completed so far at Idle Spurs Inn (formerly Vali Vu Motel) – WOW!  I talked with Brandy yesterday about the work that they’ve been doing since purchasing the property in October.  She is concerned about the look of the exterior at this point – but when you’re doing as much work as they are, there is bound to be parts done before others!  The photos will give a glimpse of the interior work that is being done… more pictures will come as things are completed but I was pretty sure you’d like a peek at the quality rooms that will be available in Ortonville soon!  (call to check – they do have 4 rooms completed; however, at picture time, they were being rented so I was limited on photos I could share.)

Call them at 320-839-2558 to reserve your room!

And a quick check in on a few things that I took in over the weekend…

KDIO Personality (and boy doesn’t she have one! ha) – Julie French turned 50!  For her birthday, there was food, cupcakes – music by Lee Kanten and his brother – and fun time gathering and visiting!

Happy Birthday, Julie – truly loved by the area!!  🙂







Then an awesome idea by Krista Hartman… It was a hotdish fundraiser for the Dream Team and their Special Olympics travels.  It was a hit!  23 hotdishes were submitted and crowds of people stopping in to vote on their favorite hotdish!

But first… Dan Kafka, who made one of the hot dishes (#10) – was bribing our new County Sheriff, Mark Brown, to vote for #10!  ha ha… of course Mark did not fall for it – and the money was fake!  Nice try Dan!

And, I went to Milbank for the Milltones’ event  on Saturday night!  That was great fun!

If you wonder how our businesses support area activities… take a look at this list supporting the Milltones!  (We have the most supportive business community within our area!)






















April 2019 Social Media Networking Lunch

Our April Social Media Networking Lunch is this Wednesday, April 3rd.

Time:  Noon
Location:   442nd Street NW, Ortonville
(Lower Level of the Community Center)

Using HootSuites
Interactive Post Examples

(NOTE:  In May, we will have Patrick Buttke presenting on how to get your Google Business listing to rank higher on the search results!)

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial agenda.  Of course, there will be discussions throughout the hour!

If you plan to attend the meeting, please fill out the form below – so that I gauge if we have enough seating.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!


Thank you to Frandsen Bank & Trust!

Thank you to Frandsen Bank & Trust for the desk – my office is now complete!  It is quite a network, living here on the MNbump –  The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber Director, Mary Hillman, had stopped in the Ortonville EDA office shortly after our move and noted that I really needed a new desk.  I actually had a nice desk setup originally; however, my move downtown provides a great centralized location and easy walk for many of our businesses so I had decided to set-up my two desk sections as one long conference table so that the office would always be ready for a meeting – and I could just use the city’s desk that had been left in the space.  Yes, the desk was not much to look at – but my office was much more practical this way.  The Downtown Revitalization Committee has started to have their monthly meetings here – which keeps me in the loop with what is happening; the City Park Board will start using the conference table for their meetings; and, the Ortonville EDA has a monthly Social Media Lunch for area businesses  – all of which work great in this space.  My ugly desk did not seem to hinder any of these meetings!  🙂

But… back to Mary!  She had stopped at Frandsen Bank & Trust in Clinton one day and in talking with them found out that they would have a couple of desks for sale since they were remodeling the bank.  Of course, she immediately called me to encourage me to buy one!  (for those of you that know Mary – she is persistently encouraging) – so I contacted Bill Thyne – who was awesome!  He said that they had the flexibility to donate the desk to a “worthy cause” and he was sure that the Ortonville EDA met that requirement.

So late Friday afternoon I grabbed my favorite “helper” – my husband, Dan, and we drove to Clinton to pick it up – Bill Thyne himself helped Dan load the desk.  Bill also gave us a quick tour to see the changes that they are making at the bank – I’m anxious to stop back up and see the finished remodel!  Once we returned to Ortonville and had barely stepped out of the vehicle – there was Sue Lockwood asking if we’d like some help unloading the desk.  Greg was there too in just a few minutes time.  They had been working on their building across the street (Ortonville Mercantile & Gallery (O-M-G)) and saw us pull up.

THAT is what it is like to live here, on the MNbump!

I stopped in this afternoon to put my office back together so that I would be ready to kick off the work week Monday morning – and as I write this, I’m enjoying my new desk – much larger L-shaped desk with matching file cabinet — and yes, it is much better looking than the desk I was using!

#LoveWhereYouLive  #MNbump

GoFasters Expands + 2 New Housing Developments Moving Forward – and more!

I stopped up to see how the GoFaster’s Power Sports and Marine move was going this morning.  Wow!  The work that Dustin Roggenbuck has done on the 38,000+ sq ft. warehouse building along Highway 75 is impressive!   This additional space will allow expansion for not only their showroom and accessory items but also much-needed space for their expanding service shop. They also now have additional space available for winter storage of boats, pontoons and RV’s.  GoFasters is a full range power sports and marine dealership.  They also sell all season specific gear – from outerwear to snowmobilers, to helmets and specialized gear to offroad riders year-round, to paddle boards and life jackets to boaters in the summer.  Their service shop works on everything from boats, pontoons, ATVs, dirt bikes, street bikes, snowmobiles, generators, and side by sides.  With this large amount of additional space, they will be able to create that one stop shop.  GoFaster’s also sells docks and provides an install service for docks and lifts along the lake for those in need of this service once the ice goes out.

Dustin and his family live and breath “outdoors” and outdoor toys – so you can be assured that he is well acquainted with the machines that they distribute and that they carry the accessories to go with them!  Check out the video below of Dustin and Amy’s son as he takes his snowmobile over any jump area he can find – a good indication of how much time this family spends outdoors!  Dustin’s parents, Steve and Linda Roggenbuck, own Progressive Collision & Glass which is also located here in Ortonville – and Dustin’s wife Amy is in partnership at Johnson and Roggenbuck, PA – Certified Public Accountants.  — It is great to see this young family return to Ortonville to settle back into the area and investing in not only their businesses but also investing in the community – Dustin is currently on the Ortonville City Council, and until recently has served on the Park Board while Amy has served on the Ortonville EDA Board until she reached the point that she needed to focus more time on the growing business/partnership – and of course time for family and outdoor power sports!

Dustin & Amy’s youngster riding his snowmobile below.

… and a “THANK YOU” shout out to Mark Berg for establishing GoFaster’s in Ortonville back in 2002!  Mark has been a strong community supporter in Ortonville and we’ll continue to see him off and on – he has a home on Big Stone Lake and strong friendship ties to the area since moving here.  There have been some changes since the GasGas dirtbike online business started as part of GoFasters – with both his involvement along with Steve Berkner’s in racing, this online business quickly became the number one location in the USA for parts for the brand.  A new company from Spain, Torrot, bought the rights to GasGas and then hired Mark as the COO for North America.  They employ 10 people and have over 75 dealers in the USA with 8 more in Canada.  In 2018 they set a new record for sales of GasGas in the USA.  Their warehouse is currently in Watertown – which is what brought Dustin back into the business.  So although Mark is moving in a different direction, he has worked with Dustin to keep GoFasters Powersports & Marine in Ortonville!

Check out a few photos that I took this morning from their store-front area and watch GoFaster’s Facebook page for the photos as their shop, showroom and storage areas are finalized.

Now, a few “Quick Takes”
Ortonville Updates!


The Ortonville EDA had appointed a Housing Committee to work with the Minnesota Housing Partnership (MHP) to review available housing, identify the top needs and then to reach out to potential developers that would build the needs identified.   Imagine the excitement when we received word that there were two developers looking to develop – the very developments that the Committee was hoping to target!  The properties to be developed are owned by the City/Ortonville Area Health Services and were put on the market recently – just prior to the release of the RFP from the Housing Committee.  I think it is safe for me to say that John Hartman of Shady Oak Realty was able to connect interested developers with the properties much faster than anticipated by anyone!  Needless to say, the Ortonville EDA has put a hold on the housing RFP.

One development will be through the sale of Northridge Residence.  The developers are local to the area and are looking to do extensive updates to the building which will provide 2 and 3 bedroom rental units – they are planning to have the first four units completed by the end of August!  Watch for updates on this project as things move forward – we are very excited that they have chosen Ortonville to invest in our housing need!

The second housing development will be a 4-plex which will be located near Fairway View in the newly platted City lots.  More details on both housing developments will be posted as they progress.

New Dental Office Coming to Ortonville

And a quick photo update on the new Bluestem Dental (Hilleren) building’s progress.  I know many of you are anxious for them to open in Ortonville!  (Although we do have an awesome dental practice already – Dr. Steven Winther – his practice is full and we’ve been in need of an expansion in dental providers)

Hotel – New Owners – Major Updates in the Works!

You’ve likely noticed the changes happening to the Hotel along Highway 75  – Vali Vu has new owners and they are completely remodeling and upgrading the rooms.  The first four rooms are due to be complete any day now – and I’m anxious to see them!  Besides a total update, their decorating plans really sound interesting!  The exterior is also getting a complete update – so if you drive by tomorrow… that is not the end plan!  I’ll have updated photos coming soon.

And, there is the update!  If you’d like more information on the City of Ortonville, please check out the City’s website:

Water Tower Design: There are TWO Winners!

Congratulations to David Rausch as the Water Tower Design winner! (design pictured below)

David will receive $700.00 for his design and he has asked that the seperate $300.00 portion of the contest that was available for an Ortonville based non-profit of his choice go to the Big Stone Area Emergency Food Shelf.

David Rausch

David works here locally at Rausch Granite Monuments  (On a side note if you are not familiar with this local business, you should check out their website and read the History page – a great family business story.  For those that have lived in the area awhile, we associate the family name with strong community support and involvement – with the Food Shelf being one that David remembers as being important to his mother)   When he was called to notify him as the winner, the Board had asked if he would be willing (not necessary) to alter the design to include a golf reference along with the bobber – which he did – but as is with most designs that really catch your attention – the original design submitted was the one that took top pick!   David has also been great about providing the design in different digital formats to provide flexibility as the City Engineer sends this artwork out for bid.  Although the variations and digital formats were not a request or requirement for the design submissions and had no bearing on the decision to select his design, the Ortonville EDA thanks him for his willingness to provide the extra alterations!

Aaryn Schaub (Hoye)

There was a surprise alteration to the contest – one of the designs submitted had an awesome tagline included with their artwork that was just too good to let go!  “Relax, you’re here…”  So, the EDA Board added $300.00 to the project and asked Aaryn Schaub if she’d be willing to let the City use her tagline with another design.  She said, “Of course!”  Aaryn has asked to donate $150.00 of the $300 to the local humane society – which is the Big Stone County Animal Rescue  (the $300.00 did not come with a stipulation to donate any portion – she volunteered this gift)

Many of you will remember Aaryn best by her maiden name Hoye.  I remember her as a young girl with an impressive memory!  Her parents owned Mallard Point formerly Foster Lodge supper club on Big Stone Lake.  She would come to the table – take everyone’s order without writing it down at the table, rattle off the desserts available that night from memory and remember regular customers by their names with ease!

Congratulations to both David and Aaryn – and a huge thank you to everyone that submitted a design!  It was really amazing to look at all the designs submitted (101) and to have so many people take the time and use their talent to assist in the project!   Your time was truly appreciated by the City!

Original Design with the Tagline included

The City and Engineer are currently discussing the color for the Water Tower.


Facebook – Promoting Your Business or Organization

Our Social Media Lunch tomorrow will be promoting your business with Facebook.

Time:  Noon
Location:  44 2nd Street NW, Ortonville
(Lower Level of the Community Center – or just North of Shady Oak Realty)

  • Tips on topics to post on Facebook
  • Tips on Engaging your Followers & Getting more Followers
  • Where to find the Analytics so that you can evaluate your activity
  • What do the numbers mean:
    • Page Views
    • Post Reach
    • Post Engagements
    • Page Followers
  • Those in Attendance –
    • How do you currently use Facebook?
    • Tips on Facebook activity that you’ve found engaged your followers?

If you do not have a Facebook Page and are considering one, this is still a great lunch to attend.  You’ll be able to hear how it used which will help you in formulating your Facebook Marketing plan.  Either I (Vicki) or Janine Teske would be happy to set up an appointment to work with you on an individual basis to help set up your Page.

Reminder:  These are informal lunch meetings where everyone brings their own lunch and drink – and joins in conversation after the initial agenda.  Of course, there will be discussions throughout the hour!

If you plan to attend the meeting, please fill out the form below – so that I gauge if we have enough seating.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!


Starting a Website – Picking out a Domain Name

One topic that has been suggested for the Social Media Lunch meetings is starting a website.  (Tomorrow is our first Social Media Lunch for 2019, CLICK HERE to see topics & RSVP if you’d like to come)

So, if you are contemplating a new website, here is a great link for tips on picking out a domain name:  How to Choose the Best Domain Name (11 Tips and Tools)

One of our upcoming Social Media Lunch meetings will be a discussion on websites.  We’ll have some general information for discussion – and we (Janine Teske & I) will be able to share some tips on WordPress and Wix.  The article that I linked in this post (Domain Names) is written on a site wpbeginnerwp = WordPress.  This is what I use for a number of our local websites & blogs… this site,, and both Janine and I use WordPress for Janine is also familiar with Wix.

If you’d like to have your email address added to our notification list for future Social Media Lunch meetings, fill in your name and email address below and we’ll send you an agenda before each monthly meeting – and you can decide from there if you’d like to attend!

Social Media Lunch – February!

After reviewing the survey responses, the best day of the week is Wednesday.  So, the monthly meetings will be scheduled for the first Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:00 p.m.  As noted before, these will be informal lunch discussions focused on a topic of interest to the group at large.  Although the intent was to focus on online tools, there were other topics that were noted on the initial survey so we’ll leave the scope of discussion topics a bit more open-ended!

Big Stone Area Growth has committed additional funding for the MNbump Initiative in 2019 expanding the scope of their workforce recruitment and community development work – so we’ll kick-off the monthly meetings with the topics below.

  1. MNbump Update (admin changes & expansion)
  2. How MNbump & EDA Can Assist Business Promotions
  3. How residents/businesses can help promote the area
  4. Recruiting Employees – how we can help you
  5. Brief Discussion items: Child Care & Housing
  6. Share topics of interest for future meetings

Reminder:  It is a “bring your own lunch & drink” meeting!

If you plan to attend, please just fill in your name on the form below.  This is helpful to know if I have enough space in my office or if we’ll need to go upstairs.  However, if you do not RSVP and at the last minute decide to come – please do!  I’m looking forward to these monthly meetings.

Click to view a One-Page Photo Snapshot of Ortonville is not only our City Government page, but it is also our link-hub to connect across our community, Big Stone County and the surrounding area.

  • Big Stone Lake
  • 18-Hole Municipal Golf Course (beautiful course! Web Link)
  • Amazing Health Care – Clinic & Hospital Web Link
  • Wonderful Senior Housing on the Golf Course Web Link
  • Check out our Business & Organizations on the Chamber Website
  • Great School System!  School Website
  • Big Stone County is well connected – work from your home!

Ortonville is an MNbump Community!

TV Programs Aired – Information Requests Coming in!

In talking with Chamber Director Mary Hillman yesterday, the recent airing of Big Stone Lake fishing segments on Midwest Outdoors TV has brought phone calls and emails from Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota & North Dakota!  Mary also gave out the Chamber Website address on the segment below – the Chamber website activity has more than doubled over any of the last four months for website visits!

It is nice to know that as we are bundled up from the cold blast coming in this week, that visitors from all over are watching Big Stone Lake fishing episodes and checking out our websites as they make their future travel plans!   Great job Mary & Artie on the video below!

You can check out Midwest Outdoors TV’s  YouTube channel for past Big Stone Lake episodes for some great fishing tips!