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Loon Lake Lodge is located in Grand Marais, Minnesota, on the edge of Loon Lake. The property contains eight cabins that are available for rent for half of the year and one cabin, called The Shack, that can be booked year-round. The grounds are on the lake's edge, many of the cabins having personal docks on the water. This offers the opportunity for guests to spend some time in the lake or on the beachside with their family or other visitors. There is gear available for patrons to use on the lake, such as kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, and hydro bikes. The owner, Derek, and his wife Andrea hope that their guests are able to enjoy nature while they stay with them. They both love the property that they own and strive to keep it up to date while keeping the history of the cabins intact.
Loon Lake Lodge has a total of 18 acres and has eight cabins for guests to choose from while they stay at the property. Of those eight cabins, only one is open for use year-round; that one is The Shack. The Shack is also slightly bigger than all of the other cabins. Each cabin has its own charcoal grill, a kitchen with many tools provided, bedding, and more. Cabins four, five, and six are the closest to the water, and all of these cabins have private docks that visitors have utilized in the past. Because of the easy access to the lake, these cabins seem to be rented more often than the others on the property. Each cabin also has its own fireplace, and there is another fire pit available towards the middle of the grounds that all people at Loon Lake Lodge can use. There are also a couple of public docks on the lake that offer access to the lake for those who don't have a dock available from their cabin. There are canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and hydro bikes available for visitors to use when they are looking for something to do on the lake. Some other amenities that are offered at Loon Lake Lodge are a couple of fishing boats and a pontoon boat that can be rented out.
There is a lodge on the property that can be used for various things. One of those uses is for eating, as Loon Lake Lodge serves breakfast and dinner in a restaurant contained in the lodge. The breakfast served every day at Loon Lake Lodge is from 8 AM to 9:30 AM. "Our breakfast is an 'all you care to eat,' made to order," says Derek. "I cook, and my wife serves," he continues, saying that guests can order anything off of a menu that they provide them. Accommodations have been made in the past for those with allergies or diets. There are also board games and such for patron use inside of the lodge. Additionally, there is a gift shop on the property that sells Coffee mugs, shirts, hats, and other souvenir items.
All of the cabins and the lodge were built during the 1920s. The owner, Derek, says they are "in good shape, but [they're] pushing 100 years old so [they've] got a lot of character." The buildings have been renovated a bit in order to provide more modern amenities, but the buildings are stylized in the fashion they were built in. According to Derek, the surrounding area is "all just wilderness and old-growth trees. It's beautiful up here." There are hikes that visitors can do if they are looking for something to do in the area, four of which guests can walk to if they would like, and there are two others that people have frequented in the past that are within driving distance.
Loon Lake Lodge can host events on the grounds, but the owners try to keep those events small due to the available space that they can provide. Dinner can be hosted at the lodge on the property as well, though the days that the meal is served are currently limited. Derek, one of the owners, says that since he and his wife took over, they have been known for these dinners and breakfasts they make every morning. Besides that, he says that "the draw to the place I think is just the pristine lake and the old grown trees." The property itself is the only lodging on the lake itself, though there are a few other cabins that are personally owned that sit a little back from the water.
Derek wants his guests to feel like "they are getting to experience nature first hand with a comfortable bed at the end of the day." He loves the area where his business is located in, saying that "it's easy to relax up here." Besides the area itself, the owners say they are around the property from six in the morning until six in the evening. They try to be there often enough to help whoever may need something from them, striving to interact with their patrons often. One thing that the owners have done for their guests in the past is recommended places to eat and to visit in the town. A few of the places that Derek invites people to dine at are Poplar Haus Restaurant & Bar, Trail Center At Poplar Lake, and, if visitors are willing to drive a bit of a distance, Angry Trout Café. He says that there are many places to eat in town, but those are three that he enjoys.
Guests in the past have left many reviews that focus on the property itself. One said, "We couldn’t have asked for a better getaway. We stayed in cabin 6 and loved the outdoorsy feel and history of the cabin, but the updated amenities were nice too. We loved having breakfast at the lodge. We also loved canoeing, kayaking, and fishing on the lake." One policy that is advertised at Loon Lake Lodge is that pets are allowed. The owners ask that patrons keep their pets off of furniture but that they can bring them anywhere else.
Derek feels like having a good reputation for the property before owning it has been helpful for his success. He also feels that the private decks and docks have helped many people feel comfortable and relaxed while staying with them. One cabin is open year-round, but the rest of the cabins and the lodge close from mid-October to mid-May. Derek says that July and August are his busiest months and that the typical visitor that comes to the cabins are families, many of them being repeat guests. Derek says that "we cater towards families because we are a family."
The cabin that is open during the winter months is called The Shack and is advertised as "complete solitude" by the owners. The Shack is one of the few buildings in the area that operates throughout the winter, according to the owner, making the area relatively quiet throughout the season, which could create a desired atmosphere for those looking for something more peaceful. Snowshoes can be rented at Loon Lake Lodge, and there are places nearby that can rent out other winter gear for those desiring such. One patron said about this cabin, "Loon Lake Lodge's only winter cabin, The Shack, is a wonderful full log cabin built in the 1940s. Set high on a hill overlooking Loon Lake, it is a quiet and private setting that helps brings peace to its guests. There is a wonderful wood-burning fireplace with wood provided. You also have views of the winter birds and Loon Lake beyond."
For around seven years, Loon Lake Lodge has been owned by the current owners, Derek and Andrea, being the sixth owners to have run the cabins. The previous owners had been running the property for over thirty years, and the ones before that also ran the grounds for about the same amount of time. The cabins have always been used for lodging, though the owners have changed things recently in hopes of being more family-oriented than it has been before.
Derek says that he has always wanted to work in the hospitality industry. He tells a story about how even in the second grade, he wrote "I want a resort in Alaska" and that he has pursued that dream throughout his life. When he and his wife Andrea moved to Grand Marais, Minnesota, they knew that there could be places that might open up for sale, and Loon Lake Lodge opened up soon after arriving.
All of the cabins were being built during the 1920s and have been preserved in a way to keep the style of the original structures. The only significant changes that have been made to the cabins were the additions of modern amenities and the docks. Aside from those changes, Derek says that their "real goal is to keep them as original as possible on the inside." He wants his cabins to be maintained but to have original 1920-built cabins for many years to come. The owners say that their favorite part of their job is to meet all of the new people that come to their property and make new friends.