October 17, 2012 Edition

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Stan's vision for duck
lodge becomes reality

John Bland
Publisher

Stan Jones has taken tourism to new heights in Lawrence County with the opening of his new world-class Mallard Lodge in Clover Bend. Visitors to the lodge will find beauty, solitude, five-star dining, top-notch accommodations and amenities - not to mention great hunting.

"I felt that this was something I needed to do," said Jones about constructing the lodge. "This is something I can do. This gives me a venue to do other things. Part of it is being able to give back with this facility."

"It's not about making money," he said.

A group of youth, Greenwings, from the Jonesboro Rice n Wings Ducks Unlimited chapter, have already been Stan's guests for an event at the lodge.

He said he looks forward to inviting groups of wounded war veterans to the lodge. "I can't wait to invite the Wounded Warriors here - no charge."

He also envisions Boy Scouts camping on the north pad of the lake, a space big enough for 20 or 30 tents in a secure area where the Scouts could fish.

Stan was also resolute in giving credit to his family, team of builders and staff who have made the reality of the lodge possible.

*********

Stan talked about an ideal day at the Mallard Lodge. It would start with an early morning duck hunt, where hunters would kill their limit of six. That hunt would be followed by a great breakfast, then shooting on the shooting range behind the lodge. That afternoon, the hunters might shoot pheasants, followed by a five-star dinner that night.

*********

On Monday afternoon, while Stan gave me a tour, I met friendly staff, from chef Jay Taggart to Brittany Webb in housekeeping. Lodge manager Jason Housley was also on hand and has an extensive hunting background.

Contractor Keith White shared that the project had been especially enjoyable for him, and he believed he and Stan had accomplished Stan's vision for the lodge.

A group of four ladies, Trish Chandler, Kristie Hill, Lisa Graves and Beverly Nix, with SHARP, Inc. of Jonesboro, had just finished lunch at the lodge. They were at the lodge for an overnight retreat to brainstorm and conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) assessment of their company.

The women explained that they annually take a retreat to a location, such as Red Apple Inn on Eden Isle, and it was nice to find such a great place close to home.

Lisa received an email from a friend telling her about the new lodge. "We got here, and we're just all thrilled," she said, adding that they were enjoying the serenity of the setting.

Trish commented, "That (lunch) was one of the finest meals I've ever had."

"We were thrilled," said Beverly. They added that the chef, Jay Taggart, has enticed them to want to return to the lodge for cooking classes.

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