For the past 15 years, George Offshack has enjoyed a simpler life on the lake.
It’s a different lifestyle than what he came from as a businessperson and entrepreneur who lived in Los Angeles, California for a large part of his career.
But for years, Limerick Lake called him back. As a child, he and his family spent summers on the lake, driving from his childhood home in Pennsylvania to spend a few months on the water.
“My family has been on the lake since 1947. I’d been a tourist all my life, so when the opportunity arose, I moved here,” Offshack said.
It was a coincidence that he was able to purchase Limerick Lake Lodge more than a decade ago. The property was up for tax sale and the time was right for him to leave California and make the lake his permanent residence. So, he bought the business, which consisted of a lodge with a dining room and common area, guest cabins and a marina.
“It was just circumstance,” he said. “I had some money put away and I was looking for something to do. I knew when I was much younger that this business could be successful.”
Today Offshack has no regrets with his decision.
“I love my job 90 per cent of the time. I get up in the morning and my commute is from the back side of the lodge to the front side of the lodge,” he said. “I watch the sun come up on the east side of the lake, and at my age, I stop and enjoy it.”
Having spent so much time on the lake, Offshack got to know the people living there and knew the business would thrive if he focused on offering more services to the folks on the lake.
Limerick Lake is a unique body of water. Although it has 75 miles of shoreline, the entire lake has less than 160 cottages, many of which have been passed down through family generations since the 1920s and 1930s. The lake is quiet, pristine and mostly untouched, with no new builds since 1980.
The reason? Limerick Lake is only accessible by boat.
“There aren’t that many totally water access lakes this far south, it’s kind of rare,” said Offshack. The residents who cottage on the lake access their properties via boat and utilize the lodge’s marina to park their vehicles – often for weeks or months – and access their watercraft.
On the shoreline is a small store with necessities and boat parts, where residents can arrange for servicing and repairs for their boats, and the guest houses at the lodge are popular with anglers from the United States who vacation on the lake for its great bass fishing.
Over the years, the property has become a small community of people who all access the lake the same way. Although he has clientele from all walks of life – including some high profile business people from the city – everyone who arrives at the lodge is there to enjoy the lake.
“The lake is the great equalizer,” he said. “Here they’re all the same as the guy who goes to work at the factory.”
While many businesses this year experienced a downturn in customers and profits, Offshack said he has been quite busy despite the loss of traffic from across the border. Cottagers from the city began arriving early this year.
“The ice came off the lake in April and in May I already had 15 cars in the parking lot,” he said. Overall, it’s been a great season that’s now winding down.
Offshack admits that at 70-years-old, the time is coming for him to think about retiring from the lodge. While he may retire from the business, Offshack said you’ll never see him leave the lake.
“The day I get the cheque I’ll just buy whatever is available for sale on the lake that very same day,” he joked. “I love it here, and I’ll never leave.”
If you have any questions or comments please contact George Offshack directly by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (613)474-2144.