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Tan-Tar-A Estates & Tan-Tar-A Resort Background

In the 1950's developer Burton Duenke traveled to Lake of the Ozarks to visit his brother and sister-in-law. Their passion was fishing and they had built their future retirement home with a few housekeeping cabins surrounding it, calling their fishing resort "Mallard Point". Although Mr. Duenke was not an avid fisherman, he marveled at the beauty of the lake and the magnificent forested hills of the Lake of the Ozarks region. He returned often to enjoy the lake with its relaxing lifestyle, and with each visit a vision was beginning to take form. It was on one of these trips, realizing the potential of the lake area, that he began searching for a spot to begin to transform his dream into a reality.

Mr. Duenke had been a builder and real estate developer in St. Louis since the late 1940's, and had been known for his innovative architectural styles and superior construction in his residential building company. In 1960, with the property in his possession, he began construction of 12 picture-perfect lakefront cottages and an arrowhead-shaped pool. His dream was beginning to unfold.

With construction complete, or at least he thought, only one problem remained: What to name the Resort? On a vacation in the Bahamas, the Duenke's spotted a most unusual name on the back of a yacht "Tan-Tar-A". Without having to think twice, they realized that they had found what they had been searching for, the perfect name for their rapidly growing resort at Lake of the Ozarks.

Tan-Tar-A Resort accommodated their first guests on July 4, 1960. The Resort, in its rustic setting, quickly became known as a favorite place to vacation among local Missourians and Midwesterners alike. A family place, summer vacationers filled Tan-Tar-A Resort to capacity, and for the next 25 years, it reigned as the "Honeymoon Capital" of the Midwest-over 3,500 honeymooners enjoying the Resort and its outstanding amenities.

Mr. Duenke was never known to let his creative genius stagnate. With the success of Tan-Tar-A Resort, the acquisition of additional property adjacent to the Resort, and his long-term experience in real estate and residential construction, Tan-Tar-A Estates had its beginnings. It seemed like a perfect fit. Homes could be designed to accentuate the beauty of the natural environment, be used by the owners as vacation homes, or be rented to other families to enjoy. Owners also had the option to be a part of Tan-Tar-A's "Sun Club" which allowed them to live in the Estates, and were able to enjoy the resort's amenities-the best of both worlds! Mr. Duenke's dream began as a vision that eventually changed the face of the Lake of the Ozarks and the surrounding area.

After a long family history in the hotel and resort business, Marriott Corporation acquired the Resort Area from Mr. Duenke in 1977. In 2001, the resort passed on to its third innkeeper, the Columbia Sussex Corporation. Driftwood Hospitality Management (DAD) assumed management over Tan-Tar-A Resort in 2012, and acquired the property in 2017. Mr. Duenke's legacy lives on through his five children who are the current owners and managers of Duenke Enterprises, LLC including Tan-Tar-A Estates. Driftwood Hospitality Management announced multi-million dollar renovations to begin in the fall of 2017, and will transition into Tan-Tar-A, a Margaritaville Resort in the spring of 2019.

Location Information:
City: Osage Beach
County: Camden County
State: Missouri

School District: Camdenton R-III School District

Information credit: Tan-Tar-A Estates, About; Tan-Tar-A.com/renovations