Despite uncertain future, lodge opens for another season

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge’s 2017 Black Fly golf tournament, a long-standing tradition at the KML, might be the last one held at the golf course.

EAGLE RIVER — In spite of a few glitches, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge is moving ahead and will open Friday.

“The accounting transition has been a little challenging, but I think we’re going to get through that,” said Harvey Desnick, KML coordinator, during the lodge’s monthly board meeting Wednesday.

Payroll is expected be less than last season, he added.

“We’re simply operating with fewer employees,” he said, “and I expect that that trend will continue through the summer.”

Desnick said the phone lines have not been functioning properly for a long time, but steps have been taken to remedy that issue.

“We had three phone lines installed today by AT&T,” he said. “Baraga Telephone will be there tomorrow (Thursday) morning to get that functional. We’ve had one line you could call out on. If Sue is on the line taking a reservation, I get on a phone, I can’t make a call, it goes nowhere.”

On the positive side, the “Pick Up Stix” promotion was successful, Desnick said, with nearly three dozen people on the property cleaning, raking and getting the grounds ready for the season opening. The cabins have all been cleaned, the lodge is nearly ready to open, and the first guests of the season will be checking in this Friday, he said.

The KML will open the lodging Friday, and the bar and grill will open next Wednesday on May 24, the first day of the annual Black Fly golf tournament. The Black Fly, a spring opening tradition at KML, is a two-day event.

Promoters are cautioning potential event golfers, however, to enjoy the Black Fly this year, because with the resort for sale, future owners might not host the Black Fly in the future.

“This may be the last Black Fly at the lodge,” Desnick said.