New crafting retreat opens near Winnebago

WINNEBAGO – Prairie Wind B&B and Retreat Center is a tranquil spot to work on some hobbies or to give your family some bonding time.

Located in rural Winnebago, it is the dream-turned-reality of Becky Krause and her husband, Steve.

“I love B&B’s; always something I wanted to do,” Becky Krause said.

Long-time residents of Winnebago, the couple built a house in the country nine years ago. Even then, Krause had her eye on the future. A Creative Memories consultant, she wanted to set up a place for people to come and work on their craft.

With Steve’s support, she’s done just that: Prairie Wind officially opened Tuesday and is ready for reservations.

She envisions the place being used for scrapbooking, quilting, jewelry making “any craft; whittling could be done, anything made at a table,” she said. It could also be utilized for groups attending a wedding or family reunion and wanting a more homey place to stay.

“It’s really geared towards people who know each other,” Krause said, such as family or close friends.

Krause was so thorough in her quest to meet guests’ needs, she enlisted her friends to come and try it out, then offer suggestions on how to improve.

Krause welcomes inquiries on the website which lists various options. Because Krause teaches full-time, the retreat is only open on select weekends from 5 p.m. Friday to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“Breakfast will be served at a time convenient to them,” Krause said and can be served upstairs or down.

Situated on 80 acres that Steve Krause restored with native grasses and plants, the house features comfortable, open-concept space. The center can accommodate eight overnight guests in three bedrooms. Each bedroom has its own bathroom and the first floor is handicapped accessible.

A large, modern kitchen on the main level is perfect for cooking demonstrations, Krause said, and there is a smaller kitchen on the lower level that can be used to prepare meals or the large island could be used as a workspace for crafts.

“We designed the lower level for scrapbooking workshops,” she said. “It doesn’t feel like a lower level at all.”

A separate workroom can be set up with tables in any configuration needed and there’s extra space nearby that can be used, too. Krause provides the tables, cutting boards and ironing boards.

An entertainment area with a flat-screen TV provides a place to relax. For more serious relaxing, massages from Bodyworks by Amanda in Winnebago can be arranged at the center.

Two staircases give easy access for loading and unloading. What you don’t see is important, too: extra insulation and a fire-coded ceiling. The center has been inspected and licensed.

The Krauses put a lot of thought into the whole enterprise.

“The most time-consuming part was creating the business plan,” Krause said.

Because the center was in the country, they needed a conditional use permit, but county officials “were easy to work with,” she said.

Although she’s just starting out, Krause hopes to expand the business when she has more time.

“Eventually, when I retire, we can continue to use this,” she said.

For more information, visit the website or call 507-893-4740.