Westside entrepreneur Ron Duggan received one of the region's top business honors recently.
Westside entrepreneur Ron Duggan received one of the region's top business honors recently. The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) recognized the local owner of multiple area businesses with the 2013 Partner In Tourism Award at the organization's annual dinner held March 28 at Country Club Hotel in Lake Ozark.
"It was quite an honor," Duggan later commented, "especially with the quality of people in the room. I was quite taken aback by it and very humbled."
Originally from the Kansas City area, Duggan moved to the Lake of the Ozarks in 1984 after vacationing here since he was a kid.
After moving to the Westside, Ron took over Sunrise Abstracting & Title Services, later expanding with Westside Escrow and SunWest Property Management.
But it wasn't until around seven years ago with encouragement from wife Nicole that Duggan decided to take on the restaurant business.
And it would be that restaurant that would make for him a new name — Captain Ron.
The Duggans purchased the old Kula Bay restaurant in November 2006 and turned it into Captain Ron's Bar & Grill.
With the first successful summer season behind him, Duggan expanded and did some minor work around the restaurant.
Things really took off though when he and a committee from the Westside won the bid to take over the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout boating event in August that had been held at Shooters.
On Jan. 2, 2008, crews began a major overhaul that would make Captain Ron's into the entertainment venue it is today. The transformation from small restaurant to Duggan's vision of beaches and tiki bars took 73 long days, but the first Shootout at Captain Ron's was successfully held that summer.
A fundraiser for local fire departments and charities, the Shootout continues to grow at its new location. And one of Ron's favorite parts of being involved in the Shootout committee is getting to hand out checks to these worthy organizations.
With the success of Captain Ron's, Ron and Nicole expanded their interests in the business and now also own Scallywag's, Cannon Smoked Saloon and The Stables at Cannon Smoked Saloon.
"I certainly couldn't do this without Nicole," said Ron. "She supports me in whatever I do and helps me get things accomplished. There are a lot of times when it's just her and I getting things done. I can always count on her."
It was Ron's family and community involvement that led to the CVB honoring him with this year's award.
"Ron continually tries to help the lake area adding events and programs to help support not only his businesses but the community. Ron's passion for his family and community show in everything he does," the CVB stated in a press release on the award.
Ron's involvement in civic and business organizations at the Lake includes being a member of the Lake West Chamber of Commerce and BNI- Buccaneers. He has served on the board of education for the Camdenton R-III School District, the Lake of the Ozarks Water Safety Council in addition to chairing the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Committee. He is also past president and active member of the Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary Club.
"Community has always been important to me - to be involved in the community and try to give back. I've had some success over the years, and it's just important to me to share some of that," Ron said.
He attributes his attitude to his father who was very active in the community as well.
Throughout it all, it has been Ron's love of family — he has five children — that has been the inspiration behind his flagship restaurant, Captain Ron's.
The outdoor dining, beaches and bounce house are geared to be places where families can go and have a fun experience while eating out — a place where parents can relax while their play nearby.