EAGLE RIVER - A concerned resident attended the regular meeting of the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners Wednesday to raise issues about the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.
Fred Gaabo told the board he worked with the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge from 1991 to 2002 when it was profitable.
"We never borrowed money from the county or any place else," he said.
Stacey Kukkonen/Daily Mining Gazette
The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, owned by Keweenaw County, is seen in this recent file photo.
Gaabo said during those years, the lodge was rewired, received a new water tank and new bathrooms were installed on the main floor.
Commissioner Ernest Mooney clarified the lodge has never been profitable since the county took it over, however, he said they are confident they have the finances under control.
"The problem has been since the lodge was updated, remodeled with additions made to it, which was about four years ago," he said. "No one is being critical of what happened back then and I think there's a great deal of appreciation. There's a lot of good things that come out of that Mountain Lodge."
Gaabo said he also feels staying open year-round is not the best idea for the venue.
"In our humble opinion, it can't be profitable in the wintertime," Gaabo said angrily. "That thing will never make a profit in the winter months, you better believe me. That's a five-month operation. You get good business from June 15 to Sept. 15 and, if the weather is good, you'll get some from May 15 ... to October, and after that, you can forget it."
The profit and loss sheet for the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge was made available at the meeting, as it has for several months, and commissioners suggested residents take copies if needed.
From January to April in 2010, the lodge income was $33,036 and from January to April in 2011, income was $37,152. Also in 2011, the lodge saw $2,652 come in from banquet services. From January to April of 2010, employee costs at the lodge were $85,277 and for the first four months in 2011, employees costs equal $87,613.
However, operating costs during those four months in 2010 were $81,870, while in 2011 during those four months, operating costs were $72,125.
In total, for those four months in 2010, the lodge had a negative balance of $155,822 and in 2011 during those four months, the lodge reported a negative balance of $93,770.