“It’s a beautiful view”
“ When a family visits Chula Vista we want them to experience a vacation full of value, great food, and memories that will last a lifetime. We do this through water parks, great golf, the new zip line adventure course, and offering them things that they normally don’t get to do in their hometowns.”– Mike Kaminski CEO & Owner of Chula Vista Resort
Before the countless plunges down the water slides, long before the late night dinners at Kaminski’s Chop House, even long before the hotel itself, Chula Vista Resort was just a summer home nestled in the north woods, overlooking the scenic Wisconsin River.
Blackmore Liquor Company, a liquor company based out of Baltimore County, Maryland owned the summer home in the mid-1800s . The home was not only a place to relax and escape the grind of city life but where women and children spent their summers on the shores of the Wisconsin River.
You know the really “ancient” water park days.
During the Prohibition the Blackmore Liquor Company turned Chula Vista into a summer resort catering to families around the area for a summer getaway.
Chula Vista means “beautiful view” in Spanish. The phrase has always referred to the beautiful and scenic views of the Wisconsin River, bluffs, and north woods scenery that surrounds the resort since the mid-1800s.
“We never changed the name because it described the view we saw looking up the Wisconsin River.” –Mike Kaminski
( Fun Fact: A part of the original mid-1800s Blackmore summer home still stands today between the two fireplaces in the main dining room of Kilbourn City Grill. So, next time you are getting a salad look around you because you are standing in the oldest part of the resort! )
CHULA VISTA MEETS THE KAMINSKIS
Joe & Vera Kaminski started managing Chula Vista Resort in 1951 and soon purchased the resort in 1953 after the previous owner went bankrupt and the building was left unkept for a few years.
“ I remember my grandmother would tell me that she had to cook with an umbrella whenever it rained, because the building was very rustic when they first managed it, so she would make sure over-easy eggs didn’t turn into basted eggs!”– Mike Kaminski
Joe & Vera Kaminski managed, cooked, and musically entertained guests with Joe’s band the Joe Jergans Orchestra while touring exclusively around the state of Wisconsin.
Throughout the 1960s-1970s Joe, Vera, and their band would perform for their dinner & hotel guests (Vera on the piano & Joe on the violin) at the Chula Vista restaurant creating a lively atmosphere that kept guests coming back for more each year.
This would only be the start of Chula Vista Resort accommodating & entertaining guests while becoming apart of the Wisconsin Dells tourist tradition.
As the years went on Chula Vista Resort welcomed families all over the area and the nation. The Kaminski family successfully transformed this once summer home into a Wisconsin Dells must-stay resort.
Fred Kaminski, son of Joe & Vera Kaminski, ran the resort until the mid-1980s when his son, Mike Kaminski Chula Vista Resort’s CEO today, joined him in management and continued the mighty expansion of the resort.
Today Chula Vista Resort stretches over 200,000 square footage of property. This includes our indoor and outdoor water parks, a world-class spa, Kaminski’s Chop House, an 18-hole golf course, and meeting facilities.
“One thing any innkeeper/any owner of a hospitality oriented business is to see repeat customers come year after year whether family vacation, company brings their workers here, government group, or an association, being able to help make these organizations more successful through our facilities and our teamwork in providing services to these guests.” – Mike Kaminski
In 2016, Chula Vista Resort will be celebrating its 65th anniversary under the Kaminskis’ family management. Special offers and packages will be offered throughout the upcoming year to keep up the family tradition of the Chula Vista vacation. Thank you to all of those families, businesses, and friends who have kept the tradition alive for all these years and for years to come.