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Lake Vermilion resort under new ownership

Ludlow's Island Resort in Cook was in the Ludlow family for four generations. The family will continue to be involved in the resort's management.

Ludlow's Island Resort sign
Ludlow's Island Resort is under new ownership after more than 80 years in the Ludlow family.
Contributed / SVN Northco Real Estate Services
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COOK — After more than 80 years in the Ludlow family, ownership of Ludlow's Island Resort has changed hands.

The Lake Vermilion resort was purchased by a partnership between Minneapolis-based SVN Northco Real Estate Services and Pat Egan at the end of May.

The island resort, which has 27 cabins, a lodge, spa, recreation areas and an event area, will remain mostly unchanged. Frank Jermusek, president and managing director of SVN Northco, said there are plans to add a few additional units on the south and north shores of the lake surrounding the island.

The interior of a cabin at Ludlow's Island Resort.
The interior of a cabin at Ludlow's Island Resort. The resort is under new ownership after more than 80 years in the Ludlow family.
Contributed / SVN Northco Real Estate Services

"We're not going to change too much," Jermusek said. "This is something that's been very, very successful for nearly 100 years and we want to kind of keep it the same. It's what people love."

Mark Ludlow said the family will stay involved with the resort and will be available for consulting for the foreseeable future. In addition, his son and daughter-in-law will continue managing the property.

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"We're pretty excited about the new owners because we think they're going to maintain what we built over some 50 years, and hopefully improve upon it," Ludlow said. "They were very assuring that their focus was to do what Ludlow's has always been doing and try to do it even better."

The history of Ludlow's Island Resort began when J. Burr Ludlow purchased the land in 1912, with the first cabin rental, Night Owl, opening in 1939. Four generations of the Ludlow family have managed and developed the property since then.

Jermusek has work experience with Lutsen Resort, Gunflint Lodge in Grand Marais and Superior Shores Resort in Two Harbors, and SVN Northco commercial real estate is an investor in Odyssey Resorts. Real estate agent and investor Pat Egan's Navigator Real Estate purchased Ruttger's Bay Lake Lodge in the Brainerd Lakes area in 2020 and the Clamshell Beach Resort in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota.

"My partner, Pat Egan, really wanted this asset, and I love this asset," Jermusek said of Ludlow's. "It's a place I've been going since I was a kid and the two of us just put a deal together and purchased it."

The resort is open seasonally during the summer, with private one- to five-bedroom cabins, a private island, recreational activities, equipment rentals and other amenities.

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Related Topics: COOKTOURISMSMALL BUSINESS
Laura Butterbrodt covers health for the Duluth News Tribune. She has a bachelor of arts in journalism from South Dakota State University and has been working as a reporter in Minnesota and South Dakota since 2014.
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