After four generations of Ruttger family ownership, the historic Lake Bemidji resort is now under new ownership. Mark and Karrie Nelson purchased Ruttger’s Birchmont Lodge at the conclusion of the 2017/18 season and will be expanding the property into a year-round resort.
The couple, who bring ten years of experience from previous ownership of a family resort on Cass Lake, plan to re-brand Ruttger’s as an upscale, year-round family vacation destination and retreat venue.
Over the past year, under Nelson’s leadership, the resort saw a steady growth and many renovations to the infrastructure. Ruttger’s is now home to an expanded dock area with seating options, new mattresses in all cottages and villas, and new waterfront toys and boat rentals in the marina. Future changes include an expanded dining room and renovated commercial kitchen, a new lakeside event room with patio, a rooftop patio bar connected to The Cove, enlarged guest rooms with private balconies, and an elevator service.
“We are looking forward to adding to dining and hospitality options on the north end of Lake Bemidji through the fall, winter and spring seasons,” said Karrie Nelson. “If you will be scheduling events, retreats, small conferences, you have another option to consider on the north end of Lake Bemidji, the Ruttger’s Experience.”
For those looking to sneak a peak of the renovations, an open house will be announced in late spring, inviting the community to stop by for a tour, a discount coupon for dinner or lodging, and a slice of Luscious Lemon Bread made from Lucille Ruttger’s original recipe.