Wedding Guy, Bruce Vassar takes us to McGregor, Minnesota:
As I traveled down the highway from one resort to another, a left or a right turn would take me down a country road leading me to the next resort. You have to have heard of something called an epiphany, you know when you suddenly have a moment or a great revelation that quickly zaps you out of reality and then back in! Well, that is exactly what happened to me when I came in off the country road to Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort. I had no idea what to expect with the exception of the images on the world wide web, but whoa, I didn’t expect the beautiful and welcoming scenery to take my breath away! Yup, there you have it — breathless and speechless a rare moment for me!
With all the villas, cabins, and the main lodge in pristine condition, I felt like I had landed in a different world. Remodeled from its 1902 historic beauty in 2005, it has been updated to accommodate today’s clientele and designed to blend rustic elements with the comforts of today’s technology. Isn’t it funny how having access to technology and all your social media now have become a comfort of your stay? I find the smell of the timbers and logs used in the construction of the lodge invigorating.
Let’s go outside because the weather is beautiful – 80 degrees with a nice breeze off the lake. Who could ask for anything more, especially when you are finally out of the humidity of the Twin Cities? Well, there is more and the more is, the large decking on the backside of the lodge overlooking the big sandy beach and volleyball court. This is the perfect ceremony location on the resort property overlooking the beautiful lake – perfect. But here is a great idea as I sat and looked at the fire pit, how about saying your vows and professing your love for one another at sunset with a roaring fire in the fire pit? Can you imagine the wonderful pictures and cinematography of your special day – I sure can! You could even carry a bouquet of marshmallows for S’mores, just thinking outside of the box!
So let’s get to the food and beverage as no reception is a party without either of these components. The reason I call out the food and beverage is that as I sat on the deck and had my dinner I have to say the steak was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten: to potentially rival Pittsburgh Blue, Manny’s Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Murray’s. I can’t even imagine how wonderful the food would be for a wedding coming out of the same kitchen. Wedding receptions are fully catered in their banquet room which seats up to 100. With the additional space of the Timbers Board Rooms and the outdoor lower patio, they can easily accommodate up to 140 guests.
So what were the surprises or what did I see that perhaps very few know about? First was the fact the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe has purchased Big Sandy Lodge & Resort for nearly $7 million, the latest in a series of hospitality acquisitions for the band. The purchase includes seven cabins, 14 townhouses, the 18-room lodge, a rustic log home, The Pines Restaurant, and The Bear’s Den Sports Bar & Grille.
On a more personal note, Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort was the site of the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener this past spring. To the right, the entrance into the lodge is the reading room where you will find the original 1902 fireplace and hardwood flooring from the original lodge. But the biggest secret I didn’t know is the entertainment they have throughout the summer. Well-known artists from the Twin Ports area of Duluth and Superior as well as the Twin Cities travel to Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort to entertain the many guests on the summer weekends.
Photos courtesy of Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort