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MN Snapshot: Grand View Lodge launches major expansion.

Byline: Anne Bretts

Editors note: Minnesota Snapshot reports interesting sales and development projects happening throughout Minnesota. The transactions are based on the certificates of real estate value filed with the state Department of Revenue, copies of which areavailable with the story here. Other items may come from government agendas and news releases. The biggest lodge in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota is about to get a lot bigger. City of Nisswa officials have approved the plans and work is about to start on a major expansion of Grand View Lodge, a year-round resort and conference center on the north shore of Gull Lake. Weve been planning this for a year, said Mark Ronnei, general manager of the resort. Well be adding about 30 percent to our capacity. The resort already has 270 units, in a mix of lodge rooms, cabins, villas and large vacation homes. It can hold conferences and events for up to 400 and has three golf courses with nine, 1 and 27 holes. The expansion includes a 60-room hotel and conference room, a recreation building and outdoor game area, an addition to the resorts spa, an outdoor wedding chapel, and 21 twin homes offering a combination of ownership and rental use. Nor-Son of Brainerd is the architect, and W. Gohman Construction of St. Cloud is the general contractor for the project The resort is open 365 days a year, so the work has to be scheduled carefully. Itll take a couple of years to get it done, Ronnei said. Ronnei declined to discuss the cost of the project or give many details, saying he plans a formal announcement later this month. The plans are on file with the city, however, and word has traveled through the town of about 2,000. Shawn Hansen, president and CEO of the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce, said she didnt have a formal cost figure, but shes clear that it will have a big impact on the community. Its probably the largest economic development project Nisswa has ever seen, she said. Grand View has room to grow. The 2-year-old resort includes about 440 acres of woods and lakeshore 15 miles northwest of Brainerd and 140 miles northwest of the Twin Cities. The resort is the flagship of Cote Family Destinations, which owns Tanque Verde Ranch in Tucson, Arizona, and places for children, Camp Lincoln and Camp Lake Hubert in Lake Hubert. The Brainerd Lakes area has about 60 resorts, Hansen said. Grand View is the largest of the big four resorts, which also include Breezy Point Resort in Breezy Point and Maddens on Gull Lake and Craguns Resort on Gull Lake, both in Brainerd. Like other large resorts, Grand View long has offered more than fishing and campfires. The destination wedding business has been big for us, Ronnei said, estimating the resort hosts more than 50 a year. The expansion will build on that, with a small, rustic chapel designed for intimate ceremonies with up to 50 people. The changes will run through most of the resorts operations: Recreation zone: This project will feature indoor and outdoor pools, a ropes course, a bocce ball stadium, two sand volleyball courts, two skating rinks, a sport court, a basketball court, a fenced childrens activity area and courts for croquet, pickle ball and tennis. A new recreation building will include a fitness center and yoga studio, a snack bar, a childrens programming area, equipment storage and exterior bike storage. Hotel and conference center: A new 60-room limited-service hotel will include a 5,000-square-foot conference room and breakfast area. Spa expansion: The spa building will get eight new treatment rooms, a year-round outdoor soaking tub and a new relaxation room. Wedding chapel: A 1,200-square-foot rustic outdoor chapel will hold up to 50 people. Garden cottages: The lodge will develop 21 lots, each holding a duplex. Buyers will pay for a unit, which they will use for a set number of days a year and rent out the rest of the year, with the resort managing the properties. Prices are expected to start at more than $700,000 per unit. Employee housing: Four employee dormitories will be moved from their current location near the hotel to the western part of the complex. The project also will involve paving and improvements to access from public roads. The city approvals took time, not because there were problems, but because the resort owners were acting as their own developers, dealing with buildings as well as sewer lines, wetlands, road improvements and traffic, said Desmond McGeough, planning and zoning administratorfor the city. This was on the agenda over several months, he said. The end result drew positive comments, he said. All the buildings are very nice, he said, and very consistent with the up-north lodge aesthetic. The resort still has a few of the small cabins that have been a part of its history. The expansion reflects the need to honor that history while keeping things fresh to grow in the future, Ronnei said. People always want something new and different, he said. [divider] Related:

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Publication:Finance and Commerce
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Mar 1, 2018
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