DNR-Owned Resort in Southern Iowa Reports Loss in Recent Audit, DNR has Hope for its Future

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MORAVIA, Iowa -- Located right on the shores of Rathbun Lake near the town of Moravia, Honey Creek Resort seems to be a prime spot for a weekend getaway, but according to a report released Tuesday by the state auditor's office, the DNR run resort isn't making any money.

The audit it shows the resort operating at a loss just over $348,000, the third time in eight years that the resort has lost money.

One Iowa lawmaker says having a state-owned resort doesn’t sit well with her.

“We have so many facilities up in northwest Iowa that are privately run, and don't have government involvement, who are having to compete directly with the state for tourists, for conventions and for events, and I think it sets an unfair precedent and an unfair standard for our privately owned businesses,” said State Representative Megan Jones. “The state is a government, it shouldn't be in the resort business."

Lawmakers aren't the only ones who think it's time to cut bait.

“I don’t think the DNR should own it, I think a management company should, it should be privatized somewhat,” said Moravia resident Jackie Richardson.

Richardson says the resort does help the area.

“They hire a lot of teenagers; they hire a lot of people that can’t get jobs at the factories.

Though she says the resort isn’t helping the area enough.

“I want my roads fixed, and the infrastructure! We get some of the tax dollars from the lake, but not enough,” said Richardson.

In fact, some of Richardson's tax dollars go to the resort. According to the audit, the DNR contributed $359,000 to the resort in 2016.

However, Deputy Director of the DNR Bruce Trautman says the resort can be an asset to the area and the state, and there will be improvements coming soon.

Trautman says during the last month of Honey Creek's audit, it switched management companies to "Delaware North."

Trautman says if the audit took that into account, the resort made a profit of around $100,000.

Trautman hopes the company, which operates several national and international resorts, will help turn around the resort’s finances.

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