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Priest Lake Auction: Saying goodbye to home

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  • PHOTOS: Priest Lake lots auctioned off

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    Thursday, August 28 2014 8:46 PM EDT2014-08-29 00:46:58 GMT
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. 
    PRIEST LAKE, Idaho - 61 cottages sites on Priest Lake were auctioned off in Coeur d'Alene on Thursday. For years, those already living on the sites leased the land from the State of Idaho, but the State was looking to sell. Residents already living on the sites showed up on Thursday to buy them back, and many were successful. 


PRIEST LAKE, Idaho -

After years of obstacles for 61 Priest Lake lot lessees, the end comes on Thursday, August 28th. People who have been leasing land from the state, some more than 40 years, will find out if they get to keep their property in an auction.

Back in 2010, the State of Idaho decided to divest more than 300 lake lots on Priest Lake. Families have two options, continue leasing, however, increasing rent costs has made it hard for families to do so, some claiming they can't afford to wait until the next auction, forcing them to opt out of the lease. However, opting out of a lease requires a tear down of any improvements, i.e. cabins, storage buildings and docks. The other option is a voluntary auction in which lessees have the opportunity to buy the property outright.

Of the 60 lots up for auction on Thursday, that's what families are hoping to do, but some, like the Depew family, are making the most out of what might be their last week on Priest Lake.

"We're third generation, my wife and two kids and our friends have enjoyed it over the years...brothers sisters, dating back to when we were kids," said Brad Depew.

Depew and his family were out at his father's cabin on Wednesday. The lot has been in the family for more than 50 years, the possibility of losing it is a bitter pill to swallow.

"We as a family have all come to the realization that this could be our last trip."

For Depew's children, much like himself, this was a place of many firsts.

"I learned how to water ski here, I learned how to drive a four wheeler here," said Olivia, Brad's daughter.

Depew says his parents will be at Thursday's auction, hoping to buy the property, however, they won't be entering a bidding war.

"It's been kind of excruciating for my parents, you know, i guess that's the upside, all of this coming to an end in the long term, but in the end we're losing a family jewel so to speak."

The auction will take place at the Coeur d'Alene Resort at 1pm.

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