New ownership duo buys Bluefin Bay resorts


July 2, 2020


The Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is under new ownership.

Silver Bay native Joe Swanson and his business partner Pipasu Soni are the new owners. They are operating under the management company BFB Management, LLC.

Dennis Rysdahl, co-founder and 36-year owner of Bluefin Bay Resorts, will remain in a leadership and advising role for a year or more until his official retirement.

In planning for his succession, Rysdahl sought to find a buyer who would carry on the legacy of first-rate lodging and amenities, warm and friendly hospitality, and the high quality of guest service for which the Bluefin Bay brand is known, he said in a prepared statement. That also meant developing the resorts’ leadership team and selecting an owner who would continue the longstanding commitment to the Bluefin Bay staff, owner partners, and the local community.

“I knew when I saw Joe Swanson’s name on the list of potential buyers that he was one of us. He shares a history here, as well as our core values and commitment to the community. Pipasu Soni’s resume and skill sets are also exceptional. I’m confident we’ve selected an ownership team that is deeply committed to continuing the Bluefin Bay tradition of creating memorable vacation experiences for guests for years to come,” Rysdahl said.

For Swanson, owning Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is a dream come true.  A Silver Bay native, he worked at Bluefin Bay for seven years during high school and college in housekeeping, dining and maintenance positions.

Now a 401(k) and business advisor in the Twin Cities, when Swanson saw the resort for sale, he immediately contacted his friend and business partner, Pipasu Soni, to discuss the idea. Pipasu is chief financial officer for Winnipeg-based NFI Group, a bus and coach manufacturer. He previously served in several finance roles with U.S. Steel. The duo met through their wives, who were friends and their children went to school together. Likewise, Swanson and Soni became fast friends and eventually business partners.

“We’re deeply committed to advancing the culture and reputation of Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts developed by Dennis and his team,” Swanson said. “The Bluefin Bay team is the best I’ve ever met, bar none! That’s a tribute to Dennis’ leadership and hard work to create a community and experience beloved by so many.”

“We’ve had great success over the last two years building a capable and committed leadership team in preparation for an eventual sale, and the new owners will retain that team. I have a high degree of confidence that the operations of the resorts will continue to thrive,” Rysdahl said.