We are excited to be maintaining our tradition of hosting the Minnesota Mountain Bike Series race, the Laddies Loppet on Sunday of Labor Day weekend. This will be year 33 we have hosted the race making it one of the longest running events in the Midwest. Registration for the race can be found on the MNMBS website.
Hard to believe we are already in the middle of July and half of the summer has passed! July has been unseasonable cold, and up until a few weeks ago where we have received nearly 3″ of rain the past two weeks, very dry. Overall it has been a beautiful summer with some fantastic sunsets, starry skies and not too many fallen trees on the trails.
The weekend will obviously be a bit different this year with no lodge and the cross country race will be held on Sunday, like the other races in the series. There will be no short track race this year. We will not have any lodging available, at this point, but will allow camping like previous years. We are still working out details for food trucks and concessions but either way plan on a fun day of mountain biking and family fellowship, while racing on Maplelag’s signature singletrack.
The biggest news to report is the start of remodeling on some of the cabins. This past week we began work in the Brant cabin to be used as a day lodge like it was this past winter. We plan to have a store and hope to have some items to sell by Labor Day bike race weekend. The store will feature the more popular clothing and we have plans to bring in some new items made by local artists. There will be no meal service at this time. It will be a work in progress. As difficult as it was, and we know for some of our guests as well, to change the look of the storied Brant cabin, moving forward we feel this action fits best our vision of the model moving forward considering all the parameters in our thought process.
Later this summer we will be remodeling in the cabins of Lapland, Candy Store, Six Swedes and also both cabooses. The above mentioned cabins we plan to rent for the upcoming winter season, possibly earlier depending on how construction goes. Since we are doing many of these projects “in house” it takes a bit more time but also allows us to make changes on the fly and craft and create as we think best. The above cabins are also on the slate to have a new paint job! Regarding taking reservations and booking these spaces, we will have more information available later this summer once we feel comfortable doing so based on the progress. We are doing much of the work ourselves as we mentioned.
We want to thank everyone again for their love, prayers and steadfast support. The next phase of Maplelag will be very different and change can be hard but we have to do what we feel is best for our interests and inspiration to best serve our guests. We look forward to seeing folks at Maplelag again soon! Enjoy the rest of the summer and we will update next month with hopefully a favorable progress report.
Summer has arrived quickly, it has been just over one month since we were skiing and there was still ice on the lake! The forest has filled out completely with each wildflower blooming a record crop. Consistent rainfall has brought the woods to a vibrant and lush state.
We have begun our summer grooming on the trails preparing for the ski season and continue trail maintenance on the mountain bike trails which remain open for mountain biking. We always enjoy seeing people out challenging themselves on our natural/classic trail system.
We have also transplanted tamarack trees to the property. One idea we plan to implement is planting 10 trees in memory of Maplelag guests that have passed in the year. We are saddened to hear of the passing of long time guests these past few months and keeping all family and friends in our thoughts and prayers.
As far as the rebuilding plans of a new lodge, we are still in a holding period as we await final insurance claims and also look for new insurance which, as expected, has been difficult. Until these two components are settled, we can not move forward with a rebuild of a lodge. However, we will continue with trail and grounds maintenance and have the trails open for day use. Other summer projects on select cabins include exterior painting, new flooring, new mattresses and resort upkeep. Even though we will not be hosting the Concordia Language Villages, unfortunately, we will be very busy with our skelton staff of family and the “machine” Keith.
We hope to begin taking reservations for fall or winter rentals late summer for select cabins we are making improvements on.
We will have camping available for the Laddies Loppet Mountain Bike race weekend. It was great to attend one of the series race last weekend and see many of the faces that come to Maplelag and get ideas for our new one day event this year.
In closing, we want thank everyone who continues to reach out to us and see how we are doing. It is still hard to believe the fire event on October 10th and process what has happened. It is a long road to recovery and the future of rebuilding.
Have a safe and enjoyable summer and we will touch base mid summer with another update!
We know that people are eager to hear what the future plans are on rebuilding a new lodge after a fire destroyed the main lodge on October 10th, 2022. To keep it simple and to the point, we are in a constant state of planning and seeking the best path forward. Still to be determined. We have tossed around a full variety of ideas. Having the energy, desire and passion to do what we feel is best will in the long run be the most successful for Maplelag and ensure the guests have the best experience possible. We are so blessed to be in the deep northwoods surrounded by the beauty of nature, no mater what time of year and we look forward to sharing this special place with our guests.
Maplelag is a large property with many buildings and structures. We may decide to not build a new lodge, but in place, update some cabins and build around a slightly different business model. We find that some buildings were not used to their full potential and nearly all the buildings need improvements, upkeep and changes.
At this time to rebuild a new lodge for the winter season 2023/24 is not possible. One of the biggest restrictions is financial. The hospitality industry along with many other industries were hit hard during the COVID years. We did everything we could and utilized all the resources to keep Maplelag. We are very grateful we were to remain open when so many businesses were forced to close permanently after being shut down during the restrictions.
The past month we’ve been fortunate to visit Nordic centers and trail systems, both locally, and east and west. These visits have been most valuable and inspiring to garner new ideas, rejuvenate and build energy for our future.
Items of discussion in our planning for next season and moving forward:
Ski Rental: We hope to have ski rental available for 2023/24. It would be on a advance reservation system so everyone is fitted proerly.
Website: We are in the process of creating and building a new website. Since we are doing this in house, this will be a lengthly process and a work in progress as the new business model comes to life.
Reservation program: Hard to believe but our old reservation program “GuestTracker” served us very well for nearly three decades. We had a backup we were able to restore but will transfer all the data to a new system. We hope to make the reservation process much more user friendly and easy to make and pay for reservations online.
Asado: The asasdo or Argentinean bbq was used sparingly and we are looking for ways to use it more in the late summer and fall. This is attached to the warming house which will see some changes in the future as well.
Cabin Rentals We fully intend to have cabin rentals available for the winter season 2023/24. What units and the time frame will be available as soon as we make final decisions.
Cathouse Many of you will remember the cathouse as a meeting point after the first lodge burned in December of 99. We have been cleaning in this building to make it more efficient and safer. We call it the “Cathouse” as it stores man of the “cats” The snow cat, BobCat skid steerer and Arctic Cat snowmobile to name a few.
Thanks again to everyone for their support as we navigate the next steps forward for Maplealg. Love and peace to all.
A Family Owned and Operated Destination Cross-Country Ski Center