New Kids on the Block
When Mike and I bought Voyageur Canoe Outfitters in 1993 we were the new kids on the block. The block was the Gunflint Trail and resorts and outfitters rarely changed hands. I guess one should expect there to be ownership changes over the years especially over the 24-years we’ve been there.
There was an article published online recently in the Star Tribune that talked about a few of the new owners of businesses on the Gunflint Trail. The newest change of ownership happened this year when Bryan and Stacy Gerrard purchased Windigo Lodge from Char Ekroot. Char has been the only owner of the lodge since we’ve been on the Gunflint. The original lodge burned down in 1991 killing her husband and mother but Char rebuilt. The new owners are renovating cabins and hope to open “The Poplar Haus” in July.
Last year Gunflint Lodge transferred hands from the Kerfoot family to Mindy and John Frederikson. Bruce and Sue Kerfoot operated the lodge after Bruce’s mom Justine and attempted to hand the resort over to both of their sons without success. So, after almost 90 years in the hands of Kerfoots Gunflint Lodge has new owners.
Tuscarora Lodge and Outfitters was sold a couple of years ago by Sue and Andy Ahrendt to young couple Ada Igoe & Andy McDonnell. Before the Ahrendts bought Tuscarora it was owned by Kerry Leeds who purchased it from his parents somewhere around the time we purchased Voyageur.
In 2014 Andy and Ada DeLisi bought Old Northwoods Lodge and renamed it Big Bear Lodge on Poplar Lake. Old Northwoods Lodge was built by Gail Quistad and he and his wife Yelena operated the lodge and cabins. I don’t remember if there was another owner in between that time or not.
When we bought Voyageur the Tuttles owned and operated Bearskin Lodge. Mike Pazlar bought the lodge from them and again I can’t remember if there was another owner between him and when Bob and Sue McCloughlan bought it in 2007. Now they are transitioning ownership to their son Quinn and his wife.
Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters has had several owners since we’ve been on the Gunflint Trail as has Borderland Lodge which was Moosehorn Lodge and is now Cross River Lodge. The Resorts that have had the same ownership are Trout Lake Resort, Hungry Jack Outfitters, Norwester Lodge, Seagull Outfitters, Hestons and Way of the Wilderness.
WOW! My brain hurts trying to remember all of this and this blog has taken way longer than I planned so that’s enough history for now!