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Spotlight on Top Business Owners in
Sports, Fitness & Recreation


Three Creeks Lake Store

Name: Jan Keyser

Location: Bend, OR 

Type of Business:
Boat Rental and Supplies store at the lake

What does your business do?
We rent boats and offer various supplies for the fishermen, campers, hikers and day use people who visit the lake. We are located at the lake and are 18 miles outside of Sisters so we are the only resource in the near vicinity.

When and why did you start the biz?
I bought the store in May 2015. I've always had a passion for camping, and spending time outdoors. This was a perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors in summer and help my fellow camp/hike enthusiasts. I am single and it is sometimes hard to find family or friends to recreate with so this gives me a perfect opportunity to be social and active at the same time.

How Many People are in your Company?
One- me

Where's your office?
Small store about 300 square feet, located lake side at Three Creeks Lake in Sisters, Oregon. There is also a boat dock and a camp spot. I lease the space from the USFS. There is no electricity or running water. I run the freezer and fridge on propane.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
The timing of opening due to USFS opening the gate to the lake and also repairs needed on boats, dock and staircase. It's also very difficult to find 2 or 3 willing able strong bodies to help open up (move boats, unboard the store) in the spring and close up in the fall.

What's the most fun part?
The repeat customers that have been coming to the lake for 30+ years and bring their new family members. I love to see them every year. I meet people from all over the world. Also the family of eagles that nest at the lake are always a welcomed site each year.

Anything you would have done differently?
Perhaps gone in business with a who can do repairs affordably and provide some capital.

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
I want to do some repair work to the staircase. It's wobbly and needs to be fixed. Possibly put in a ramp to assist some of the folks that have a hard time getting around. Also to do some repair work to the dock. And then eventually add some kayaks to the fleet of boats, as a lot of people are kayaking and have requested them for rental.

What advice do you have for others?
When I first started the venture so many of my family, friends and acquaintances said they would help and they were all psyched for me to start. But in reality a lot of that support is verbal and it is very difficult to find real, honest help with repairs or whatnot when I need it. I guess my advice would be to make sure you really have someone hired or available and will really come through for you when you need it.

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
I have a five year loan for the store. Making the loan payments on time every month leaves very, very little for repairs. I've had to dip into my personal savings to the tune of about $20k over and above my initial investment and it would be so helpful to get some financial assistance for some needed repairs.

School (where, still in school, degree)?
San Jose State- no degree

Prior jobs or business?
I work full time as a Controller weekdays and have been in finance for 30 years.

Favorite Food?
Italian food

What are your pets' names?
Lizzy - my dog

Do any of these pets help with your biz?
Lizzy is the lake dog. She's been going to the lake with me every season since I opened in 2015. She's 8 years old now and I hope she's able to continue to go with me for many years to come. She is my buddy and a great companion. All the customers love her.

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
I've always worked for someone else. I got a divorce in 2013 and was felt in that marriage to feel unworthy and incapable of doing anything substantial. Those two things were mostly the driving factors. I found a niche that I can do and keep my 'day' job to keep the roof over my head.

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Hi to anyone who has challenged themselves and is succeeding with hard work, dedication and passion for what they do.

Contact Info:
Jan Keyser
2799 NE LaPointe Ct
Bend, OR 97701


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