The Minnesota Resort & Campground Association has launched a new Century Resort designation to recognize resorts that have been in continuous operation for at least 100 years. Six properties enrolled as Century Resorts so far are Grand View Lodge of Nisswa, Burntside Lodge of Ely, Fair Hills Resort of Detroit Lakes, Northern Pine Lodge of Park Rapids, Pehrson Lodge Resort of Cook and Peters Sunset Beach Resort of Glenwood.
"Resorts have been a mainstay of Minnesota tourism for well over a century," said Dan McElroy, MRCA's executive vice president. "Before the days of air conditioning, interstates and internet searches, resorts were there to cater to those who desired to cool off by the lake, relax and enjoy recreational pursuits."
Many resorts can name longtime guests who have returned annually for 10, 20 or even 50-plus years, McElroy added.
"Minnesota resorts are an important part of many vacation traditions and they are where countless treasured family memories are made," he said.
The six enrolled resorts and any others that enroll by Sept. 1 will be recognized during the MRCA's 2017 fall conference in October at Breezy Point. (Later enrollees will be honored at subsequent conferences.)
Each Century Resort has a unique and intriguing past.
Grand View Lodge, Nisswa - established 1916
M.V. Baker began selling 50-foot parcels on the shoreline of Gull Lake in 1916. With 238 lots in his possession, business was so brisk he decided to build a lodge to house prospective buyers. Built from Norway pines on the property, the lodge remains a focal point of Grand View Lodge today and is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
Baker sold the remaining lots in 1937 to "Brownie" Cote, who had purchased two camps in the area and was seeking a location to provide housing for campers' parents. He bought 320 acres, the main lodge and all of the shoreline for $85,000 ... a hefty price when the average annual income was $1,780.
Over the years, Cote and his family built Grand View Lodge, and the Cote family continues to own and operate the resort.