Lutsen Resort Fire 2024: Community Vows Rebuild After Devastation

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In the early hours of a quiet Tuesday, the historic Lutsen Resort lodge, a cherished landmark on Minnesota’s North Shore, was engulfed in flames. This tragic event marks a significant loss for the community, with the resort’s general manager, Edward Vanegas, describing the fire as “ferocious and violent.” Despite the complete destruction of the lodge, there were no injuries reported, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office.

The Lutsen Resort, dating back to 1885, has been a beacon of hospitality and memories for generations. Its significance is echoed in the community’s response, with many sharing their memories and expressing a collective sense of loss. The resort’s owner, holding onto the original plans from when the lodge was rebuilt after a previous fire in 1951, has vowed to rebuild, promising to modernize and recreate the beloved space for future generations.

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The fire was reported just after midnight, with efforts to combat it involving crews from eight fire departments. The lodge was empty of guests at the time, a fortunate circumstance attributed to it being a slow season. The resort’s staff, housed in separate dormitories, were unharmed, and the only staff member present at the time of the fire was quick to report it.

This incident has sparked a wave of support and determination within the community, emphasizing the lodge’s iconic status and its place in the hearts of many. The resort’s history is rich, with its founding by Swedish immigrant C.A.A. Nelson and its expansion to accommodate tourists. It has seen rebuilds after fires in 1949 and 1951, with the latter construction led by renowned architect Edwin Lundie. The resort has changed hands over the years, with the current owner, Bryce Campbell, having undertaken substantial renovations recently.

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