Lodge Looker: Real estate group shows interest in buying lodge

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Don Piche, Keweenaw County Board chairman, announced at Tuesday’s meeting that the board may have found a buyer for the failing Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.

EAGLE RIVER — While the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge Board discussed the county no longer being able to afford financing the failing Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, Don Piche, board chairman, announced at Tuesday’s monthly meeting that the board may have found a potential buyer for the facility.

The party that expressed interest in the lodge is the Veridea Group, Piche said.

According to the Veridea website, The Veridea Group began more than two decades ago with a single retail building and has evolved its portfolio to over 50 projects.

“Veridea has a development presence in an area ranging from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the mountain-west of Montana. Veridea is focused on the operation and growth of its two complimentary business divisions: Commercial Real Estate Development and Hospitality,” its website states.

Earlier, representatives of the group had received a tour of the Mountain Lodge, lasting some three hours, Piche said, discussing the possibility of managing the property for the county. After the tour, it was stated that the group felt it could not operate the facility profitably in its present state and informed the board the lodge would require an investment of at least $2 million in maintenance alone.

The group, however, did suggest the possibility of purchasing the property outright.

There are some contingencies, however. One of the issues of the purchase is the deed restrictions placed on the property by the state of Michigan in 1934 when the county received ownership of the lodge. One of those restrictions states that the mountain lodge must remain open to the public.

Piche said they would like that restriction removed, if the group purchases the facility. In the event they cannot make the lodge a profitable venture, they would like the right to be able to do with the property whatever they feel is necessary to make it profitable.