An incredible experience awaits on the shores of Priest Lake
By Jillian Chandler
Situated among towering pines on the sandy shores of Reeder Bay on Priest Lake, Elkins Resort is surrounded by Forest Service land, making for incredible views. “Sunrises, moon rises, rainbows, wildlife, beach fires, stargazing, lakeshore walks and time on the water are more common here than just about anywhere else,” smiles Tracie Szybnski.
Elkins Resort on Priest Lake has been in continuous operation since being established in 1932. Owners Mike and Tracie Szybnski and Sharon Davis continue many of the traditions set out by the Elkins family. Guests are able to keep their reservations from year to year, which means familiar faces regularly walk through the door. Long-term friendships and even new families are formed along the way.
Open year-round, Elkins Resort is a full-service resort offering lodging, dining, restaurant, bar, boat rentals, moorage, store and gift shop. The owners and staff are able to offer their guests a very unique experience that combines excellent customer service, a beautiful setting, comfortable lodging and outstanding cuisine. “Our approach to business has created generational customers,” shares Tracie. “Both cabin and restaurant guests have been coming back for three to four generations.”
All 30 cabins have full kitchens and living areas, giving guests the ability to choose going out to eat or staying in. Most cabins have fireplaces with wood provided—which is something not available in most cities anymore, Tracie notes.
During your stay, you’ll be treated to several different dining experiences at Elkins Resort. The lodge holds a dining room open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, with the bar offering a more casual spot for lunch and dinner. During the summer months, outdoor dining is available on the front lawn. Chef Graham Byxbee has been showcasing his culinary talents at the resort for more than 15 years. “His constant research and innovations keep both the favorites and new items mouth-watering,” says Tracie.
Elkins is famous for their Pepper Steak, Herb-Encrusted Halibut, Huckleberry Daiquiris … and much more. Restaurant manager Cricket Hass is the master behind the bar, where she creates innovative—and delicious—cocktails incorporating local ingredients. Assistant restaurant manager Hailee DeSpain plays an important role in training the Elkins team to give friendly and professional service.
As you make your way outside to the shoreline, boat rentals are available right on the water (Memorial Day weekend through September). The rental fleet includes Harris pontoon boats, Cobalt runabouts, Whalers, fishing boats, canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. Tracie adds, “These are all self-driven, giving you the opportunity to explore 27,000-plus acres of water on Priest Lake and Upper Priest Lake.”
If you’re looking for that dream wedding location, look no further than Elkins Resort. Weddings are hosted September through June, and wedding packages include exclusive use of the lodge and front lawn for the ceremony and reception, planning of the event, staff for the event, one night’s lodging for the wedding couple, and catering of the event. “Jennifer Bushman, our event coordinator and assistant general manager, works with each wedding party directly to ensure all the details are handled, creating a personal experience not many others can match,” Tracie adds.
Decade after decade, what has continued to set Elkins apart from other resorts in the area is consistency and service. “We aim to create the best experience possible,” Tracie says proudly. “Our friendly team goes out of their way to serve our customers. The year-round team, including head of maintenance Bill Bushman, keeps the resort put together.”
If you’re looking to make cherished memories in a beautiful setting along the shores of Priest Lake, Elkins Resort and its dedicated team is ready to treat you, your friends and family to an unforgettable experience.
To find out more about lodging, dining, activities, weddings and more, be sure to visit their website at ElkinsResort.com.
Elkins Resort on Priest Lake
404 East Elkins Road
Nordman, Idaho 83848