Business Booms at Lady Bug Lodge in Ely

By KBJR News 1

June 6, 2011 Updated Jun 7, 2011 at 10:07 AM CDT

ELY, MN (Northland's Newscenter)---A lodge just outside of Ely is seeing big success thanks to marketing geared to families.

Business at Lady Bug Lodge in Ely is anything but crawling.

Last summer, the Lodge was fully booked with families 90 percent of the time.

This year, May records indicate sales are up 10 to 15 percent.

"People are finally realizing you don't have to drive to the other side of the country or fly to another country to get a nice experience," said resort owner, Bernie Baltich.

Success, the owner attributes to the increase in marketing he pursued within the past year both locally and throughout the Midwest.

The Leisure and hospitality industry in the state of Minnesota employees more than 240–thousand individuals.

The owner of the Lady Bug Lodge says he likes to hire locals to give his guests a more private experience.

The private experience is just what 51–year–old Gary Grzlak looks forward to each year he vacations at the lodge. He has been coming to the lodge every year since he was six years old.

"I like the peace and tranquility, I like to go on a lake where I will see only a couple boats," said Grzlak. "The fishing is great here, we catch walleyes...we catch more than enough walleyes to eat you know...I'll take a couple packages home."

Gary's mother Eva organizes the vacation for her extended family. This year, 22 family members will stay at the lodge over a two week period.

"This way we get to enjoy family," said Eva Grzlak. "Family life gets pretty hectic at home and we all get to come up here and relax. It's really nice. "

The Lady Bug Lodge provides a private pontoon, fire ring and gas grill for each of its guests.

Tourism is an $11 billion industry in the state of Minnesota.

Posted to the web: Jennifer Walch