Timmer’s turns the page
Local institution with a long history changes ownership after sale finalized

By Brianna Stubler

Dec. 20, 2018

Former owner George Prescott looks out the window in the bar area Wednesday afternoon at Timmer's Resort in the town of West Bend. Prescott and his wife, Judi, sold the resort to Scott Lurie. The Prescotts were the first members outside the Timmer family to own the resort.
John Ehlke/Daily News

WEST BEND — The history book for Timmer’s Resort just added a chapter to its 154-year-old tale. The previous owners, George and Judi Prescott, finalized the sale of Timmer’s and restaurant to Scott Lurie.

The Prescotts were the first non-family members to own the property, after German immigrants Mathias and Margaret Timmer founded it and passed it down.

When he bought it, George Prescott said he negotiated a good deal and thought it was worth a lot of money.

“I loved the place and thought I could make something happen,” he said. “It might not have met individual investment criteria but it did make a civic case for preserving one of the more beautiful spots around the Kettle Moraine.”

And that began his 12-year legacy, linking him with the Timmer family before him back to 1864.

But now he and his wife are in their 70s and would like to retire to spend more time with their 12 grandchildren, he said.

The restaurant is profitable, and with the strength of the market, coupled with low interest rates, Prescott said he knew it was time to sell. There were several offers, but he chose Scott Lurie to carry the spirit of Timmer’s into 2019 and beyond.

“I think Scott and his team are going to do a great job and will really commit to the next 10 years of Timmer’s,” Prescott said.

In his ownership, Prescott said he put in a lot of what he calls “sweat equity” and concern for offering customers the unique experience they came for.

 Prescott invested in renovations to improve but preserve the restaurant and cottages, which he said was a top priority. All but one cottage has been updated, he said, and Lurie plans to update that to finish the project.

A fireplace, original to the building of 154-years-old, is seen in the dining area Wednesday afternoon at Timmer's Resort in the town of West Bend. George and Judi Prescott sold the resort to Scott Lurie. The Prescotts were the first member outside the Timmer family to own the resort.
John Ehlke/Daily News

They discussed the future and how to ensure the same experience for the customers, as Lurie said he, too, wants it to remain the same special place that it is.

Lurie said he will keep all the current staff while he works to improve the success that Timmer’s already has, which Prescott said he believes will take the restaurant and resort to the next level.

“Many, many people stop me on the street or at the restaurant and express the gratitude they feel,” Prescott said.

In part, this is from the strategic balance between preserving the history and making essential modernizations; keeping the ambiance consistent throughout time and different owners, Prescott said.

“I’m terribly optimistic it can continue to do very well for another 10 or 20 years,” Prescott said. “Who knows what kind of market there will be, but the history will be valuable.”

The importance of history and tradition can be seen in the customers, who have returned with their posterity to partake in the continued story. Sometimes there are three or even four generations enjoying time together, Prescott said. Kids play in the grass while parents, grandparents and occasionally great-grandparents gather outside on the patio.

“It’s a special, unique time for families and it will still be going forward,” he said.