Get away and get business done. Being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota has no shortage of lakefront retreats. These resorts are located on lakefronts and are able to accommodate corporate meetings and conferences.
Ludlow’s Island Resort, Cook
No cars. No motorized traffic at all. Gilligan’s Island? Nope. We’re talking about Ludlow’s Island Resort, located on Lake Vermilion.
“We greet guests in a classic, antique wooden boat,” says owner Mark Ludlow. “We shuttle their luggage directly to their cabins. One of the things that makes us unique is that we’re a private resort. Our guests are the only people here. Groups can rent the entire island and we host just one group at a time.”
At the resort is a restaurant in the lodge, 24 lakefront cabins, and a separate building for private events that can accommodate up to 60 guests for both a seated dinner and a cocktail party. There are also two breakout rooms.
Team-building activities include canoeing, kayaking, tennis, racquetball, a ropes course and meal preparation.
Cove Point Lodge, Beaver Bay
Guests have a stunning view of Lake Superior from just about everywhere at Cove Point Lodge. “Every guest room, every cottage, overlooks the lake. Every table in our lodge restaurant, the indoor pool and the hot tub have views of the lake,” says Director of Marketing Scott Raden. “We’re the only resort on the North Shore that can say that. It’s a very serene setting.”
The lodge, which features an outdoor patio, has 47 guest rooms and there are also 27 cottages. A meeting room can accommodate up to 45 guests seated and up to 60 standing. Mickey’s Fish House, a separate space for relaxing in front of a fireplace, can host up to 30 guests for a private event.
Team-building activities include hiking and biking.
Fair Hills Resort, Detroit Lakes
A 55-foot pontoon boat that takes guests on a cruise of Lake Pelican is the feature attraction at Fair Hills Resort. “Groups can do meals prepared by our kitchen staff such as Steak on the
Lake, sack lunches, backyard grills and pizza bars. The boat is also a good spot for a cocktail party,” says Conference and Event Director Laura McMartin.
Fair Hills Resort is open from May to October and has more than 100 units.
The Lakeside Pavilion, which offers a terrific view of both the lake and resort, can fit 280 theater-style. The Blue/Green Room can accommodate 120 and the Pine Room 65. The Library, a cozy room upstairs with two decks overlooking the lake, is perfect for a board or more intimate meeting for 35 guests.
“We also have a large, grassy area that can be set up for tented events,” says McMartin.
Team-building activities include campfire sing-alongs, golf tournaments and Olympic events.
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center, Alexandria
Easy to get to and hard to leave. That, in a nutshell, sums up Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center. “Our Chamber came up with that slogan and it’s true,” Director of Sales and Marketing Shari Prause says. “Arrowwood has a comfortable, casual ‘Up-North’ feel yet also a feel of elegance.”
Located on Lake Darling, Arrowwood has 200 guest rooms in its lodge, which is home to the Lake Café, Rafter’s Lounge and Darling Reflection Spa. The Deck Bar & Grill is open during the summer. There are 16 townhomes and 13 cottages.
The lodge also provides several event spaces, including a 14,000-square-foot exhibit hall that can be used for trade shows, exhibits and meetings. Two ballrooms can each accommodate up to 400 guests seated and up to 600 standing. There are several breakout rooms.
Team-building activities include Wacky Olympics, Bingo and more that can be customized to each group. There is also golf on the Atikwa championship course, horseback riding, tennis, volleyball and basketball, as well as an executive putting course—mini-golf on real grass.
Chase on the Lake, Walker
Chase on the Lake is filled with history. In fact, the resort is on the National Register of Historic Places. “It takes you back in time,” says Raden. “It looks very historic from the outside with all the modern conveniences inside.”
The resort is on Leech Lake and has 77 guest rooms, 47 condominiums and a spectacular cottage in which guests have their own dock and lakeshore.
Private event space includes the 2,800-square-foot Walker Bay Ballroom that can be broken down into several sections. Opposite the ballroom is a partially covered terrace that can be used as a prefunction area. The Waters Edge meeting room, right off the lodge restaurant, can host up to 50 guests seated and up to 100 standing. There are several smaller rooms.
Team-building activities include swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and water biking. Guests can also rent pontoon boats and wave runners.
Trapper’s Landing Lodge, Walker
Trapper’s Landing Lodge is all about the outdoors. “We offer an upscale feel, but we’re all about getting people out of that stuffy boardroom and into nature,” says Cara Overland, group sales manager for Odyssey Development & Resorts. T
eam-building activities at Trapper’s Landing, which is on Leech Lake, include boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, sand volleyball, badminton and tetherball.
Trapper’s has 14 lake homes and there are fire pits throughout the property for bonfires.
Private events are held in the Beachfire Bar & Grille, whose restaurant, open from May to September, can accommodate up to 100 guests both seated and standing. The bar downstairs, which has a fireplace and a handful of menu items, can be used as a separate meeting space. Groups can rent the entire resort.
Lost Lake Lodge, Nisswa
For an intimate setting with that northern-Minnesota feel, Lost Lake Lodge is for you. “It’s very cottagey with lots of woods around,” says Property Manager Nancy Steffens.
Open from May to October and located on both Lost Lake and the Gull Lake Narrows, the resort has 14 cabins. The lodge restaurant can accommodate a private event for up to 80 guests seated and up to 108 standing. A smaller room can host up to 40 seated and 50 standing. Another can host up to 30 seated and 40 standing.
Team-building activities include lake swimming, bocce, basketball, shuffle and pingpong. There is a game room, too.
Groups can rent the entire resort.