After years, historic Telemark Lodge in Wisconsin closer to remodel, reopening
CABLE, Wis. (AP) — A Florida hospitality company has signed an agreement to resurrect a landmark lodge in northern Wisconsin that has fallen on hard times.
HK Hospitality Management agreed to buy the Telemark Lodge in Cable for an expected $47 million, the Wisconsin State Journal reported . The management company has been researching, studying and negotiating with the lodge for nearly four years. The company anticipates closing the deal in January.
The resort has opened and closed and had several different owners since the 1980s. The lodge is in need of repairs and many of its accommodations are outdated.
“I’m very confident. From the get-go, they’ve been very open and honest about what they want to do,” said James Bolen, executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce. “Little by little, I think (local) people are starting to realize that this is a development group that is different from others that we’ve seen.”
The management company plans to update the lodge to have 250 modern rooms. Plans for the 1,000-acre property include downhill and cross-country skiing, golf packages, concerts, food and wine events, film festivals and destination weddings, company officials said.
“We have the management skills, we have the funding and we have the marketing skills to develop it into what it needs to be, a year-round resort,” said Jim Kelley, one of the company’s managing partners. “It has never marketed itself well as a year-round resort. You can’t live off of the winter season. We’ll have year-round business.”
The company also plans to buy an additional 500 acres to provide a golf course and lake access.
Officials believe the resort could generate $25 million in tourism spending in Bayfield County. The project could create 150 to 200 construction jobs and 150 permanent positions at the resort, Kelley said.
“This would be a tremendous economic impact for Bayfield County and all of northwestern Wisconsin,” said Scottie Sandstrom, executive director of the Bayfield County Economic Development Corp. “This is a big thing for us.”
Kelley said construction is expected to begin shortly after the deal closes and last until early 2019.