While some Lake Vermilion resorts remain open year-round, most are seasonal, open each year from the beginning of fishing season through early October. Then comes the scramble to close down and winterize our 23 Lake Vermilion cabins before the freezing temperatures set in. Our last blog post talked all about shutting down the resort for the winter, but what do we do once that’s done?

If you’ve been a guest of Ludlow’s, you may have filled out a questionnaire about your stay and your cabin. Your suggestions help us make small improvements, like adding a lamp here or replacing a cast iron pan there, but they also help us decide which cabin (or cabins) will be renovated during our off-season.

Remodeling or adding on to our island cabins requires some well-thought-out timing to get supplies delivered and transported across the lake. Of course, we can’t have building supplies and construction equipment at the resort while we’re still open, but they need to arrive quickly enough after the season ends so that they can be transported across the lake by boat. If that window is missed, projects are delayed until the ice in the channel is thick enough to transport items by sled, snowmobile, or truck.

This year, Bayside and Night Owl will be remodeled to include expanded kitchens and dining areas. Bayside was built on our north shore in 1970 by Paul’s grandparents. After selling the resort to their son (Paul’s father), they lived in Bayside for 5 years before deciding to move to the mainland. The cabin was originally three bedrooms but was remodeled in 1998 to include two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

This winter, the wall between Bayside’s screened porch and its kitchen will be removed, and the screened porch will be enclosed in windows to become the new lakeview dining room. This will open up the previous dining area for an expanded kitchen with countertop bar.

Night Owl was the first cabin on Ludlow’s Island, built in 1933 by Paul’s grandfather Hod when he was just 17 years old. He traded a 22 rifle as rent for a horse and dray that moved logs for the cabin from about 4 miles away to a mill set up on the frozen lake. Night Owl’s walls are the first known knotty pine interior used in a Minnesota cabin, and the cabin was recognized by “House Beautiful” magazine in the 1940s.

Since its construction, Night Owl has been renovated to include electricity, plumbing, and an upstairs master suite. This winter, the cabin’s kitchen will be renovated to include more storage and counter space, and the screened porch will be enclosed with glass, turning it into a lakeview dining room.

Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos throughout the winter!