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Going,going, gone: Keweenaw Mountain Lodge sold at auction

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette John Lamb, the winning bidder at the Thursday auction of the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, will take possession of the property at the final closing on Sept. 10. Lamb’s bid was $1.175 million

COPPER HARBOR — The Keweenaw Mountain Lodge was sold at auction Thursday morning when John Lamb, of Corpus Christi, Texas placed the high bid of $1.175 million, which will satisfy the county’s debt to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development, once the sale is finalized on Sept 10.

County Board Chairman Don Piche said, after the auction, that in 45 days the new owner will take possession of the lodge, and that is when the final payment will take place. In the meantime, the county will continue to operate the lodge through September.

Lamb said his ultimate plans for the lodge are to hopefully keep it open year-round, which will require some changes and upgrades to the structures. He will also look at expanding the facility over the next couple of years, he said. The final sale price was higher than he had anticipated. He was on the phone with his wife and son through the auction, authorizing him to increase the amount of the bid as necessary. The higher bid absorbed some of the capital that was intended for improvements.

“I have to see what it’s going to cost and, really look at all the numbers,” Lamb said. “It was kind of an out-of-the-blue thing. I decided to bid on it, and planned ahead of time.”

The lodge, he said, will continue to operate as a resort, and the year-round operating plans will target skiers and snowmobilers, said Lamb.

Lamb is no stranger to the Copper Country. While he lives in Texas, he also has a home in Ontonagon County, along with 40 property lots.

“This is a real positive for Keweenaw County,” Piche said. “We will be out of the debt that has hindered us for years with this place now. I’m glad it’s going into new ownership that can turn this place around and make it into something the county could not make it.”

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