Telemark Resort Open for Business; Working to Close Business Deal this Weekend

By Ivory Hecker

June 8, 2011 Updated Jun 8, 2011 at 7:10 PM CDT

CABLE, WI (Northland's NewsCenter) - Telemark resort in Wisconsin is back in business after a year of down time, but the financial issues that kept it closed aren't quite resolved. The new owners are working on ways to stay open for good this time and they're making changes to the resort layout.

As guests return to take advantage of the lodge and the eleven hundred acres of resort property, business seems promising again at Telemark Resort in Cable, Wisconsin.

"It's been very steady," said Peggy Altendorf, a waitress at Telemark Resort. "It surprised all of us. We expected it to be good, but it's just starting out."

The resort reopened last week.

"The lodge is open," said Steve Kaufmann of Telemark Partners, the organization working on taking over ownership. "The restaurants are open. The indoor pool is open ... the bars, the restaurants, all the lands, the trails are open for business."

Architects and engineers scouted out the property and drew up blueprints today as renovations begin.

"As you can see behind us, we've already started some renovations of the lobby area," said Kaufmann. "We're remodeling some of the rooms."

But with the lodge up and running and revamping, the new ownership is still working out its kinks.

"Finance was the big hurdle to get tackled or overcome," said Kaufmann. "We're in challenging economic times nationwide, and for a bank or financier to underwrite this project was challenging."

The current lodge owner, Dick Short, met with potential investors and representatives from the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce and the Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation today to tour the property and discuss potential funding sources that would move the financing process for the property forward.

Short has been the mortgage holder on the resort's property for the past decade. Short gained ownership of the lodge and its eleven hundred acres of land when they were foreclosed on last year. He plans to continue financing with the new owners.

"They're working on a proposal that will have the lodge see significant renovations and bring in some Olympic training centers, to bring in a fitness center, you know to bring in a variety of different activities to draw people to the northern part of Wisconsin for different events," said James Bolen, executive director of the Cable Area Chamber of Commerce.

The new owners say they believe history and tradition will keep Telemark Resort going strong in the future.

"The brand name Telemark has been an integral part of Northern Wisconsin since 1956, and a lot of memories here, a lot of history here, and that's unduplicatable anywhere," said Kaufmann.

Telemark Partners is scheduled to finish the business deal that would make it the new owner of the lodge and its property this Friday.

By Ivory Hecker