Peninsula Personality Profile
Owner/operator, Parkwood Lodge, Fish Creek
What attracts you to the lodging profession?
It’s fun! We’re in a vacation/tourist area and people are here to have fun. It’s not brain surgery, but it is important to the guests that they have a clean comfortable room and enjoy the area. It’s our job to make that happen. It’s also my job to make sure we have the proper staff to achieve our goals. And we work hard to make sure the employees are happy too!
Where do you live in Door County?
We live right at the lodge. We are hoping to build a larger home on the property next year. There are pros and cons to living on site. Everyone knows where you are and when you are coming and going. But once you get over that, it is convenient and a way to help out on a moment’s notice.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Besides owning and operating Parkwood Lodge we (Denise with her husband Greg Stillman) also manage three other resorts – so we wear many hats. I always wake up and think what my day will be like and what I want to accomplish. It rarely goes as planned or expected.
In hospitality, nothing is typical and if you get bored or frustrated with what you are working on you can just do something else. My main responsibility is supposed to be marketing and financial management, but I spend a good deal of my time assisting with operations and problem solving.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do in Door County?
We like to do the same things we recommend to our guests – it’s important to enjoy where we live. Hike the trails, see the shows and eat in the many fine establishments – so we can tell the guests what’s what.
How do you make a stay at Parkwood Lodge special?
We have lots of fun things to do on-site. Our pool and whirlpool are always busy and there is a bon fire pit on site. We offer affordable modest accommodations. It is also important to make sure our guests enjoy all the county has to offer. So, we spend a lot of time with each guest when they arrive to acquaint them with things to do and the best way to get there.
Why is Fish Creek a good place to stay?
We have the cutest shops, great restaurants, theatre and shows, and if you must visit the other towns it’s easy to get to them from here.
What advice do you have to others thinking about becoming a lodging professional?
It’s long hours and hard work – sometimes our busiest times are when everyone else is off. But the smiles on the faces of satisfied customers usually make it worthwhile.