When the Burr Oak State Park Lodge closed down at the end of January, it had lost half the business it had a decade ago, and had lost a transformer. Now, while the lodge is open again, it's also getting a two million dollar makeover.
"The 60 rooms that exist in the lodge will be converted into 38 suites," says Tom Biegler, President, Regency Hotel Management. "We're going to do that by taking 44 of the real small rooms and converting them into two-room suites. We're going to rearrange the other rooms so that, in the end, we'll have 38 suites in the lodge, and the 30 cabins."
Biegler's company has taken over operation of the lodge. While it doesn't start taking reservations again until the end of the week, it has been getting inquiries for events such as wedding receptions and business meetings.
While the summer tourist season is a big time of year for parks like Burr Oak, the fall isn't a small draw either. And the reason is that it's the time of year when the fall colors are beginning to show.
"It's gorgeous. You couldn't ask for a better venue for weddings and conferences," Biegler notes. "It's remote enough that you can bring your board out here and literally get away from everything. But it's still close enough that we still rely on the locals to bring us people."
By the end of the year, the public lobby area, lounge and half of the rooms should be remodeled. The entire project is expected to be completed by springtime.