KML optimistic about another strong summer season in 2018

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Harvey and Sue Desnick, the husband-wife team who turned the KML around last year.

EAGLE RIVER — Harvey Desnick, coordinator of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, is moving ahead with plans to re-open the KML for the 2018 operating year on a far more positive note than last year.

“I’m getting things geared up for the season,” said Desnick, “starting with social media campaigns, target events, and golf memberships.”

Desnick told the board at its regular monthly meeting Wednesday that the lodge received a contract and a deposit for a wedding for Oct. 6. for which 400 guests are anticipated. Along with a smaller wedding planned for Sept. 9, Desnick said there are several others “out there and under consideration.”

“We now have approximately $60,000 in advanced reservations,” said Desnick. “That’s regular room bookings, which do not include room blocks reserved for those weddings.”

A large local corporation is considering two events this year, rather than the original one they had anticipated, and Desnick said he is waiting to receive an update from the corporation.

“All of that brings the estimate of advanced bookings to somewhere in the neighborhood of $80,000, so I think we’re looking pretty good right now,” he said.

Golf membership applications were sent out this week, including an early bird discount, which Desnick said should start to bring responses soon.

“We’re offering a $50 discount for early membership paid, and that goes for new members or members who didn’t sign up last year,” he said. “And that will put some money in our bank account.”

The KML finished up the 2017 season with a positive cash balance, which has reduced cash advance requirements, Desnick said, which may require between $30,000 and $35,000 in cash advances by the end of April.

“Looking forward, cash requirements for the first two months of 2018 should run between $7,000 and $10,000 a month,” said Desnick. “I have an upper estimate of $50,000 for the first four-month period, and that includes (a) $16,000 general liability (insurance) payment, which is a one-time occurrence, and the same thing for last year.”

Last year, the KML required $151,000 in startup costs from the county’s general fund, but the money was repaid at the end of the year.