Lush Resort

Longtime PK residents live the ‘Lush’ life

Story by Steve Nussbaum | Photos by Erika Carter

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Pictured above:  G and Bo Bennett sitting on the dock with the resort they created in the background.

Lush Resort is a lakeside boutique hotel, restaurant and club off Red Bird Road on the east side of Possum Kingdom Lake, and the location has a rich history dating back to the 1960s.

In 2014, Bo and Gelasia “G†Bennett bought the property, which has gone through major renovations and expansion since then.

The Bennetts have known each other since 1992.  Bo Bennett and his family used to fly a plane to the lake from West Texas. They would land at the old airstrip that runs parallel with La Villa Road, then would grab their bags and walk down La Villa to G’s grandparents’ house to the end of the dock, where his grandmother would pick them up in the boat and take them across the lake to her house directly across the lake in Gaines Bend.

Long before they married, the couple became fast friends as teenagers spending their summers at the lake and exchanged their first kiss on Bo Bennett’s boat.

Life took the couple in different directions for a while, though; G Bennett headed off to Tulane University in New Orleans, while her future husband found employment in Ballinger, Texas, working for a welding supply company, traveling all across the southwestern United States for his job.

Their paths didn’t cross again until 2012, when G Bennett and her family made plans to spread her father’s ashes at PK. She ran into an old lake friend and asked him to see if Bo would want to attend the ceremony, since he had been a close friend of her dad.

Bo Bennett attended the memorial service, and the two subsequently rekindled their romance. 

The couple married just over a year later.  One day when they went for a walk they saw that the old Scuba Point property was for sale. The property had been turned into an RV park by Don and Ruth Zahn, who had purchased the historic property from the Burns family, which had run Scuba Point since the 1960s. It’s a premier location that encompasses a special piece of lake history.

The Bennetts said their plan was to run the property as an RV park, reasoning that if they hated running a business on the site, they would build a house there instead.

The ideas and vision for the property came from their honeymoon travels in the Bahamas, as well as “a little tequila,†Bo Bennett admitted.

Thus began the renaissance at the lakefront resort, with the name change to “Lush†inspired by the couple’s beloved dog. A timeline of changes in the past decade includes:

  • Winter 2014: The Bennetts added a five-slip floating courtesy dock with five jet ski ports, remodeled the lakefront pool, added a beach and new landscaping, and opened a beer and wine bar overlooking the lake with “Poo Live Crew†performing at the grand opening party. Their timing could not have been better, either, as the lake filled up that year after several years of drought. Winter 2015: The couple oversaw the building of the new Lakefront Suite Hotel. 
  • Winter 2016: The Bennetts opened a glass-enclosed lakefront bar and grill with a full liquor license, expanded the dock to eight boat slips and added four yacht slips.
  • Winter 2017: The couple added 12 hotel rooms, four bungalows, and two more pools to their property.
  • Winter 2020: The Bennetts had to remove the RV sites to expand the on-site septic field. “Now we have a large grassy area,†Bo Bennett said. “We also concreted the entire parking lot and driveway, and added a new entrance.â€
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Pictured above:  Lush Resort owners, Bo and G Bennett inside one of their six lakefront suites.  This is L5 – Lily of the Nile.  In addition, the resort features 12 hotel rooms and 4 poolside bungalows.  

The COVID-19 pandemic made 2020 a year of upheaval in the hospitality industry, and for Lush Resort the pandemic prompted a change in operations. The crowds to the lake kept coming and never stopped, forcing the Bennetts to make adjustments to their business model, as they couldn’t accommodate all their hotel guests and the public lake traffic. They eventually shifted to a membership model, which allowed them to service their hotel guests and still have the capacity to serve their members, too. The resort still offers a couple of events every year that are open to the public.

While building and operating Lush, the Bennetts managed to raise four teenagers. Bo’s kids and G’s nephews spent every summer at Lush. His daughter, Jade, is now 25 and lives in San Angelo. His son Bryce, 23, is graduating from Texas A&M Corpus Christi this month and has a job with Texas Parks & Wildlife this summer before beginning his masters’ degree in the fall. G’s nephew, Connor, lived with them at Lush, attended Graham High School, graduated from Texas Tech last year and now lives in Fort Worth. His brother spent several summers working at Lush, too.  

These days the couple lives in the house above the office and restaurant of Lush, a beautiful space with incredible lake views. It means seven days a week living on site, but the two of them said they figure that they have survived construction, a pandemic and raising  four teenagers, so the work never stops.

The start of this year brought about a new challenge when the Rocker B Ranch shut down operations for a few months. The event venue, located in Graford, Texas, brings more than 40,000 people to the area every year, and on the day it announced it was reopening, Lush had its biggest day ever in advance bookings.

Timing is everything, both in business and love, and for the Bennetts the timing has worked out great. They said they enjoy working together and eagerly await what the future holds.

A red and black logo for the pk magazine.

Pictured above:  Lush Resort prior to transformation

A red and black logo for the pk magazine.

Pictured above:  Lush Resort when it first opened.

A red and black logo for the pk magazine.

Bo and G Bennett on their wedding day.

A red and black logo for the pk magazine.

Bo and G Bennett enjoying their honeymoon at Stranded Naked in the Abacos, which inspired them to build Lush.

A red and black logo for the pk magazine.

Bo and G Bennett’s first dance as a married couple with Alleycat playing the

song he was playing when they exchanged their first kiss.