It all started in 1960, when this area was still open range, with 20 cabins and a small café. The first improvement to the Fin and Feather Lodge was building a fence to keep the cows out and then spraying for ticks. Les and Jerrie Manns bought the Fin and Feather with the idea they would fix it up a little and sell it. Little did they know it would someday become an Oklahoma institution.
Today the resort is known nationwide. We now offer 83 lodging units for our guests to choose from, and our dining room seats up to 250 people. In looking back, our first smorgasbord served 17 people. As a way to draw more people to the restaurant during the week, we added the Hawaiian Luau buffet on Tuesday nights. The concept went over so well with our guests and staff that we’ve since added different themes for each night of the week. Many of the recipes used in the buffets are Jerrie’s. Some she collected from friends, and many are recipes that evolved from our kitchen.
As a family owned and operated resort for more than 40 years, we delight in the many friendships we’ve made with our guests over the years. So perhaps it’s not surprising that the most common questions we hear concern our own family members — namely, who we are and what we do at The Fin.
Here, then, is a quick rundown of who’s who in the Fin and Feather family:
Bill — Les and Jerrie’s son-in-law
Bill has a degree in electrical engineering from Oklahoma State University. In addition to fixing whatever needs attention, he also handles all of the Fin’s payroll and accounts, assists in running the water plant, and much more. Bill enjoys antique tractors and singing in his church choir. In January 1996, he remarried. His wife’s name is Pat.
Lezli — Bill and Bonnie’s daughter, Les and Jerrie’s granddaughter, Steve’s wife, and mom to Zach, Lucy and Eli
As someone who has been at the Fin since she was 3 years old, it should come as no surprise that Lezli has a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Oklahoma State University. Lezli can be found in the office and gift shop areas, answering your calls for reservations and checking you in and out. In addition, she oversees the dining room, housekeeping, and gift shop and office staffs.
Steve — Lezli’s husband and dad to Zach, Lucy and Eli
Steve has a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Oklahoma State University (in fact, he and Lezli met over a sink of potatoes in foods lab) and also continuing education hours from the Culinary Institute of America and is a Certified Executive Chef. He can be found in the kitchen where he is the Foodservice Director. Anything that has to do with food, Steve is in charge. So if you’re one of our thousands of guests who gets a sudden craving for the undeniable taste of our legendary cheese fries or Texas toothpicks days after you’ve left the Fin, you know who to blame! In addition to being our resident comic, Steve is a nationally registered paramedic.
4th Generation – Steve and Lezli’s crew: Zach – started washing dishes when he had to stand on a stool to reach the sink. He has been a cook at Soda Steve’s, buffet waiter and dining room matri’d. Zach has Accounting and Finance degrees from Oklahoma State University and married Megan McGee October 12, 2013. Megan has her accounting masters degree from OSU, has helped us waitressing and at the front desk and is now working as a CPA in Tulsa; Zach is working at Bank of Oklahoma. Lucy – is now a HS junior and has helped us as a Soda Steve’s cashier, works as a buffet waitress, has been gift shop cashier and is learning our office reservation systems. Eli – our 8th grader is already working flipping omelets in the dining room, busing tables and working at Soda Steve’s.
4th Generation – Stan and Teresa’s kids: Tanner is learning all aspects of the maintenance department here at the Fin. Tanner is working on his business degree at Northeastern State University. Frannie is a HS sophomore and is a buffet waitress, gift shop cashier and is learning our office reservation system.
Stan — Steve’s brother, Teresa’s husband, and dad to Tanner and Frannie
You will find Stan almost everywhere at the Fin. His versatility is evident and includes overseeing all maintenance on the property. Like Steve, Stan holds a degree in hotel and restaurant administration from Oklahoma State University and has continuing education hours from the Culinary Institute of America. He also continues to further his education with classes in both mechanical and electrical air conditioning. In his spare time, Stan is a dirt bike enthusiast.
Teresa — Stan’s wife, mom to Tanner and Frannie
Teresa’s many years of experience as an executive assistant has proven invaluable in her duties behind the front desk and on the phone. Teresa works with Lezli in the office/gift shop taking reservations, checking guests in and out, hiring, training and supervising employees.