Cashing In: Keweenaw County Board gets $151K check in lodge profits

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Don Piche, Keweenaw County Board chairman, holds a check for the return of the county’s investment needed to open the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge for the 2017 operating season. Harvey Desnick, lodge coordinator, presented the $151,000 check to the board earlier this week.

EAGLE RIVER — After a slow start, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge completed the 2017 operating season in a financially better position than was hoped for in May.

“I think, if you recall,” said Harvey Desnick, KML coordinator, “when we first started this process I really felt lucky if we (would break) even, and somehow, we made it through the summer in great shape.”

Throughout the summer, the hospitality business in Copper Harbor and elsewhere suffered due to a much rainier and cooler season than normal. In spite of that, Desnick said events at the facility, along with cutting unnecessary expenses and keeping staff at a minimum, proved a successful financial strategy for the lodge.

After giving an overview of the financial statements of the lodge for the month of October as well as for the year, Desnick told the board that the facility finished well ahead of earlier projections. To prove it, Desnick presented the board with a check.

“We are in the strong cash position,” Desnick said, “and I figure it was about time to deliver to the board a check for $151,000, which represents a return of all funds advanced to KML this year.”

Desnick said after deducting from the KML operating account the check, payroll and vendor payments to date, there remains an available balance of approximately $50,000.

“It’s $49,500 and some odd dollars,” said Desnick, “which I feel very confident will get us through to the end of the year, and perhaps beyond.”

The total amount advanced to the KML from the Keweenaw County general budget was $151,125, not all of which appeared on the check.

“I’m sorry I shorted you $125,” Desnick said. “I didn’t know it was hanging out there.”

He said an additional check for that amount will be forthcoming by the end of the week.