Gunflint Lodge is a special place, in the heart of the wilderness, where our guests go to disconnect and get away from the stresses they face in their daily lives and reconnect with what is most precious to them: family, friends, nature.
During this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who have been affected by Covid-19 and we send our heartfelt thanks to the healthcare workers, local communities, and governments around the world who are on the front line working to combat the spread of illness.
While just one case has been confirmed in Minnesota’s Cook County, Gunflint Lodge is nonetheless prepared to be sure that you remain safe and healthy during your visit. We thank you for your trust in us when planning your Northwoods vacation.
Here in the Superior National Forest, surrounded by more than a million acres of undeveloped wilderness, we do Social Distancing like nowhere else on earth. Feel free to drive here in your private vehicle, stay in your private cabin, and take out a boat or canoe or hit the trails for a hike. We’re adding wi-fi to the cabins so you can keep in touch without needing to gather in the Lodge. And while we’ve always placed a premium on cleanliness, our new housekeeping standards will make you feel safe and comfortable. Your level of privacy or interaction is entirely up to you.
To make your stay as safe and comfortable as possible, you can expect to see the following changes and enhancements:
Come Healthy, Stay Healthy: If you have been sick, have recently been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, or have recently traveled internationally or been on a cruise, we would ask that you wait a couple of weeks before you visit us. If you need to change your travel dates to allow you to be sure you are well, let us know. We can help you reschedule your trip for a time when you know you will be able to fully enjoy your vacation and not risk exposing others.
We want you to travel safely and stay well, for the good of yourself and the people around you. So when you decide to travel, please follow the guidelines put out by the CDC: wash your hands, cover your cough, practice social distancing, avoid exposing others and if you feel sick or have a fever, consult your healthcare professional.
Travel Safely: Once you’re ready to come, you might want to fill your tank and pick up groceries before you leave home or as you pass through Duluth as you may find limited supplies, shorter hours, or curbside pickup only in Grand Marais.
Contact-free Check-In & Check-Out: If you prefer not to interact face-to-face at all right now, we totally understand and respect your preferences. Just let us know before you arrive and we can have your cabin unlocked with your check-in materials in your cabin. Feel free to charge food, activities, even gift shop merchandise to your cabin like you always do. When you’re ready to check out, just let us know and your stay can be charged to your credit card on file and we will email you your receipt.
We’ve also altered check-in and check-out times by an hour to allow our Housekeeping team more time to clean and sanitize cabins between guests. So we can now guarantee check in by 4 p.m. and check out at 10 a.m. As always, if you arrive early, you’re welcome to begin using the resort amenities like hiking trails and beachfront, and we’ll get you in to your cabin as soon as it has been fully cleaned and is ready for you.
Work Remote, Really Remote: Some people have even been told to stay home, take classes online or work remote. We take working remotely to a whole new level! With lightning fast cable internet in the Lodge and Outfitting buildings and adding wi-fi to cabins, why not come up and stay awhile?
What’s New?: Our commitment to you is to offer you the same type of memorable experience you’ve always loved about Gunflint Lodge & Outfitters. But in light of the current pandemic, we’ve found this is the right time to offer some new perks to make your experience better than ever.
- More private fire rings at some cabins
- More private seating by your cabin lakeshore
- Pontoon and fishing boat rentals
- Room service to your cabins for a nominal fee or restaurant take out for the full menu.
- Guided Boundary Waters Day Trips: One household per canoe
Boundary Waters Outfitting: All Outfitting equipment and transport vehicles will be cleaned and sanitized between use. Canoes can be dropped off to allow you to self-drive to your entry point or van drop offs and tows will be done with appropriate masks and gloves. Group meals and bunk houses are limited to groups that arrive and travel together in a single-group facility. Shared bathrooms and shower facilities will be sanitized every two hours. We recommend you bring your own flip-flops or shower shoes. Contact-free check-in and check-out are available in Outfitting as well, and the check-in desk and the Trading Post are limited to one group at a time.
Naturalist Activities Our Naturalist program gives our guests a better understanding and love of the Boreal forest–the unique environment we call home. We offer daily interpretive programs, including guided activities, hands-on nature crafts, and even musical programs. This year expect naturalist programming in smaller groups that allow for social distancing. You may see more guided hikes and paddles and fewer crafts that work in close space or share tools.
To help you feel confident in planning your vacation, here are some of the actions we have taken to protect your safety during this time of insecurity:
- Real Time Information: We are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Minnesota Department of Health, and Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) for the latest developments related to Covid-19 and following the guidance of government and public health officials.
- Personal Hygiene: Proper and frequent hand-washing is vital to help combat the spread of viruses. In our daily meetings, our teams are reminded that cleanliness starts with this simple act. It’s important for their health and that of our guests. Hand sanitizing stations have been added throughout the resort in places that people frequent.
- Social Distancing:Due to the intimate size and nature of our resort, we are currently limiting the number of people in the lobby and gift shop at a time. While you wait, we invite you to sit and relax on the front deck or back patio. With more than 100 acres of property (and another million or so out the back door in the Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters), you’ll have plenty of room to social distance, but we would remind you to stay a moose’s width away from other households when using the public areas.
- Cleaning Products and Protocols:We work with our partners and suppliers to make sure our cabins, lodge, and public spaces use recommended anti-bacterial and virus-killing products and cleaning procedures. We are cleaning and disinfecting shared surfaces like door handles, keys, and pens between uses.
- Laundry: Our laundry facilities allow us to ensure that the towels and linens in your cabin are never intermixed with those used in other facilities. This gives us control over where our linens have been and what cleaning and disinfecting products are used.
- Food Safety: Restaurants, perhaps more than any other industry, have been on the forefront of health and safety requirements for decades. We always have a certified Food Safety Manager on-site. We always practice safe food handling skills, from wearing gloves and washing hands to temping food to serve it hot or cold. Our restaurant, Justine’s Lakeside Dining, is now open for indoor and patio dining. If you prefer to eat in the privacy of your cabin, we will deliver chef-crafted meals, along with a full choice of craft beers, fine wine, and even hand-crafted cocktails directly to your cabin and announce with a knock. Takeaway dining is also available.
- Housekeeping: Dishes will be washed and left in the dishwasher so you know they are clean and sanitized. This year we will not be entering cabins during your stay, so if you need a change of linens, you can leave them in a tub outside your cabin door and Housekeeping will stop by daily to replace them, pick up trash, and drop off needed supplies. We are adding wi-fi to cabins so you can text Guest Services if you need something and we can make sure somebody responds to your needs as quickly as possible.
- We’re Here To Help: We’re doing a lot to keep you safe and we can’t describe every process in detail. Rest assured that your safety, and that of our employees, are our highest priority. If you have questions about any processes you haven’t seen described here, or if you have special needs or requests to allow us to better accommodate you, please call us at (800) 328-3325 or email us at email@example.com.
We hope that you will continue to travel, explore the Northwoods, and spend time with your friends and family in this special location, whether you are journeying into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness or relaxing at the Lodge. We hope that this information will answer your questions and give you confidence in your travel decision. We thank you for the trust you place in us each time you choose to stay here, and we look forward to seeing you here soon!
John & Mindy Fredrikson and the entire Gunflint Team