Lutsen Resort Lodge destroyed by fire

The fire at the North Shore landmark was reported just after midnight. The operators of the lodge say it is a total loss.

LUTSEN, Minn. — A North Shore landmark has been reduced to rubble by a major fire reported early Tuesday. 

The operators of Lutsen Resort say their historic lodge is a total loss after burning to the ground. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office confirms that staff members called 911 just after 12:30 a.m. reporting smoke coming from the floor in the lobby of the lodge. 

Fire crews from Lutsen, Tofte, Grand Marais and a number of other local departments rushed to the scene and found the lodge building engulfed by flames. Pictures and video shared with KARE 11 show flames leaping high into the night sky. 

All staff members made it out, and the sheriff’s department reports there were no guests on site. 

The resort posted on Facebook Tuesday morning, mourning the devastation to its facility. 

“The Historic Lutsen Lodge has been taken by a devastating fire this evening….  A total loss to the lodge building…. Fires in 1949, 1951 and 2024. The amazing memories made here are in our hearts as we begin the heavy-weighted process to rebuilt back better.”

Resort General Manager Edward Vanegas posted a video of the destruction on Facebook, saying he felt that he lost part of his family. 

Vanegas told KARE 11 he was at home in Grand Marais when an alarm triggered a notification on his phone. By the time he arrived in Lutsen fire crews were already on the scene and flames were starting to jump out of the second-story windows of the place he has grown to love. 

“Devastating… just devastating,” he shared. “You just know it’s past the point of saving.”

On Vanegas’ to-do list is to call – not email or text, but call – every guest who had reservations to stay at Lutsen Lodge, tell them what happened and work to help with alternative plans to keep vacations on track. He says owner Bryce Campbell still has the plans from the 1951 rebuild, and will work to create a new lodge with the look of the beloved old structure, but with updated mechanicals. 

Lutsen Resort claims to be Minnesota’s oldest resort, dating back to 1885. It is a popular destination for hikers, skiers and people who love to soak in the majesty of the North Shore.

Their Facebook page says Tuesday’s fire is the third in Lutsen Resort history, with the lodge also burning in 1949 and 1951, 

The State Fire Marshal’s office is handling the investigation. 

Tim Miller posted a video on Facebook of multiple fire trucks putting water on the blaze. 

This is a developing story. Check back for details.  

RELATED: Fire destroys popular bar and music venue in Lutsen


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