Historic Gunflint Lodge has new owners

Brian Larsen


Left: New owners John and Mindy Fredrickson are appreciative of the community’s support. 
Photo courtesy of Gunflint Lodge Left: New owners John and Mindy Fredrickson are appreciative of the community’s support. Photo courtesy of Gunflint Lodge John and Mindy Fredrickson are the new owners of the iconic Gunflint Lodge.

The Fredricksons took ownership from Bruce and Sue Kerfoot on June 15.

The couple grew up in small towns in North Dakota, met at North Dakota State, married, moved to the Twin Cities for work and then lived in Atlanta for the last seven years where Mindy was a corporate attorney working in human resources for Delta airlines and John worked in telecommunications.

“Mindy is in the process of getting things wrapped up with her job and by the end of this month [July] we will both be here one hundred percent of the time,” said John.

“We decided three years ago to start looking for a business that we could do as a family. We knew we wanted to move back north. First we looked around the state of Minnesota before focusing on the Ely area. That eventually led us here and we just fell in love with the Gunflint Trail and the community. When we first started our search in Cook County it led us to Bruce Kerfoot [who also sells real estate] and he started showing us around. Eventually we decided to buy Gunflint Lodge.”


Above: Bruce and Sue Kerfoot recently sold Gunflint Lodge to the Fredricksons. There will be a follow up story about the history of Gunflint Lodge in an upcoming issue of the Cook County News-Herald. 
Staff photo/Brian Larsen Above: Bruce and Sue Kerfoot recently sold Gunflint Lodge to the Fredricksons. There will be a follow up story about the history of Gunflint Lodge in an upcoming issue of the Cook County News-Herald. Staff photo/Brian Larsen The couple has one son, Jack, age 16, who is in favor of the move, said John. “He has a great attitude. He’s wondering about the long ride to school, but overall he’s excited.”

Bruce Kerfoot had high praise for the new owners. “They really did their homework, looking at other resorts before deciding to go all in and buy Gunflint Lodge. I have been really impressed with them.”

Kerfoots put Gunflint Lodge up for sale in 2013 for an asking price of $6.8 million. While Bruce wouldn’t say what the business sold for, he did say it went for over $6 million.

With over 100 acres of Gunflint Lake shoreline, a beautiful lodge building with cabins, the Towering Pines Canopy Tour, a gourmet restaurant, 125 beds, horseback riding, cross country skiing, fishing and guiding services, Gunflint Lodge has a lot to offer. Also included in the sale was Gunflint Northwood’s Outfitters, a canoe outfitting.

Gunflint Lodge has been in the Kerfoot family since 1929 when Bruce’s grandmother, Mae Spunner, purchased what was then a small resort from Doris Blankenburg and her son, Russell. Mae’s daughter, Justine, stayed on and married Bill Kerfoot in 1933.

Bruce will stay and help the Fredricksons for the next 60 days, and John said the couple would be happy to learn all they can from him.

“He has so much knowledge he can pass on to us. We are really grateful. The community has been really kind, really friendly. We feel like they are rooting for us and that makes us feel good,” John said.


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2016-07-09 digital edition


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