In our Winter 2015-16 Fishwrapper, we featured a story on the roots of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Those roots run a century deep and the lakeshore on which each of our beautiful resorts – Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing – now reside has played host to North Shore visitors since long before the advent of snowboards and snowmobiles.
Here are some facts about our North Shore roots we bet you don’t know:
In 1925, the Scenic North Shore Highway (Hwy 61) opened and changed the area and its residents forever. Tourists swarmed the North Shore for recreation, scenery, hunting and fishing.
As the fishing industry became less and less profitable for North Shore fishermen, their families began relying more heavily on money brought in by the increasing stream of visitors. Industrious residents began to develop their properties to better attract and keep valuable tourism dollars. The area burst to life and more resorts were open for business than ever.
Then World War II hit. Gasoline and tire rationing kept tourists from venturing north. Struggling owners shuttered their resorts and moved to seek out other work. When owners returned after the war, many of the properties needed extensive repairs and renovations. Even with the opening of Lutsen Mountains ski area in 1948 and the need for year round lodging, resorts continued to close.
Today, only 8 of the original resorts remain in business. But the history and heritage of the lost resorts is strong.
Temperance Landing, part of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, now stands on the grounds of the Star of the North Resort, a property that continued to welcome guests throughout much of the war then suffered a devastating fire in 1945.
Surfside on Lake Superior began in 1928 as Surfside Resort, a seasonal side business for Cook County’s school superintendent.
And, our beloved Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior – now 32 years old – proudly preserves the rich tradition of hospitality on the land formerly home to the Edgewater Inn & Olsen’s Motel.