A Fond Farewell

June 29th, 2015

Habberstad House welcomes new owners, Mark & Elaine Edwards,  on June 30th, 2015.

PRESS RELEASE

LANESBORO AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
PO Box 348
Lanesboro, MN 55949
507-467-2696

June 29, 2015


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

After fifteen years of operation, the Habberstad House Bed & Breakfast in Lanesboro will transition to new owners on June 30th, 2015. The previous owners, Dave and Nancy Huisenga, originally came to Habberstad as guests in June of 2000 for their anniversary. There was a last minute opening, and by September of that year they had purchased the house from then-owner Nancy Martinson. Within one week, they were welcoming their first guests.

The Huisengas chose the now familiar color scheme based on historical information.

The Huisengas chose the now familiar color scheme based on historical information.

“We fell in love with Lanesboro,” Nancy Huisenga said during a 6/23 interview, stating that the couple is “leaving our legacy behind,” but they are confident the new owners, Mark & Elaine Edwards, “will enjoy living here.”

The Huisengas leave behind an impressive legacy for the venerable B&B: during their time as owners, an architect from the Minnesota Historical Society approved built-on additions for the property, as well as a repainting of the 1897 house to a traditional color scheme. Under the Huisengas, Habberstad expanded from three rooms to six, along with the addition of a replica carriage house designed by Dave from the house’s original layout. Dave and Nancy also requested that their thanks be passed on to many of the local artisans and craftsmen who helped expand and maintain the house over the years.

For the first two years, Dave was tasked with the house’s entire operation while Nancy was employed in the Cities.

For the first two years, Dave was tasked with the house’s entire operation while Nancy was employed in the Cities.

In fifteen years of operation, Habberstad attracted a fiercely loyal following, with some guests visiting the lodging between fifteen and twenty times. During that time, Nancy performed with the local Commonweal Theatre and Community Theatre, and wrote a book detailing their lives as small town innkeepers. Their time at the Habberstad House saw a great change in the style of inkeeping, going from penciled calendars and black-and-white brochures to high-tech online reservation systems, credit cards, and challenging dietary requirements.

Dave and Nancy described their leaving of Habberstad House as “bittersweet,” and looked back fondly on their time as innkeepers, stating that they want to keep involved with the goings on in town, but are “ready for the next chapter.”

Habberstad House opens its new chapter on June 30th under new owners Mark & Elaine Edwards.

Deep Breaths…

June 23rd, 2015

Whew! It’s been quite a month!

It’s gone by so quickly it almost feels like someone forgot to say “go,” but now it seems June is almost over. As we head into another month of summer fun, let’s take a moment to reflect on the June that was in 2015.

June 6 – Rhubarb Festival.

DSC00689

Bee-Bop-A-Ree-Bop: The Rhubarb Sisters sing in perfect harmony about the tart and tangy taste of rhubarb.

Did you know that Lanesboro is the Rhubarb Capital of Minnesota? Well, you do now, and let me tell you: I’ve never seen so much done with a humble vegetable as what went on in Sylvan Park back on June 6. The Festival (which is now so famous it even gets mentioned on TMZ) has rhubarb you can throw, wear, decorate, do art with, and in the case of one brave soul, light on fire and juggle.

tmzrhubarb

Oh, and I think you could eat it, too.

Lanesboro’s love of the stalk is legendary, so be sure to clear some time in your schedule next year on the first Saturday of the month to see what all the rhubarb is about!

June 9 – Small Business Celebration

As I covered here before, Lanesboro welcomed 10 new businesses into its community on June 9th in a mass ribbon cutting. The craziest thing is, after all of the fun and the television cameras and the business owners getting down to, uh, business… we heard reports of even MORE businesses opening this summer. There must be something in the water here in Lanesboro!

June 11 – Pie and Politics
The world-famous Aroma Pie Shop in Whalan, only five miles up the road from Lanesboro, officially re-opened for the season on June 11, and there was much rejoicing. The Pie Shop has gotten its fair share of publicity in the past, so making sure it’s open is definitely a priority for the area. Besides, after biking from Lanesboro to Whalan, you deserve a sweet treat!
Additionally Lanesboro has been visited by the Minnesota Secretary of State and has been contacted by two of the local senators. It seems like this summer, everybody wants to make sure they enjoy a slice of Lanesboro, and life is sweet.

June 21 – Art in the Park
For 35 years running, Lanesboro’s Sylvan Park has played host to artists of all stripes, from sculpture and paint to food and drink. Over 90 artists were featured in this year’s Art in the Park, along with musical guests, delectable food, craft beer, and even a petting zoo for the young at heart. There’s no better way to kick off summer, honor Dads across the board, and soak in Lanesboro’s signature art & culture than to hit up Art in the Park on Father’s Day.

Art in the Park: 35 years and counting in Lanesboro’s Sylvan Park! Photo: KXLT Fox 47

but wait, there’s more!

June 26-27 – 60 Mile Garage Sale
The Root River Trail Towns, an organization made up of the nine towns that dot the Root River State Bike Trail, are capitalizing on that which binds them all together by holding a garage sale this Thursday and Friday all up and down the length of the trail. From Fountain to Houston, Rushford to Preston, Peterson to Harmony, and everywhere else in between, businesses and individuals will have their doors open to bargain hunters up and down the 60 miles of bike trail. Maybe it’s a good idea to do the shopping on your bike, that way you’ll keep from buying too much to carry back home!

This is, of course, to say nothing of the art shows, theatrical productions, variety shows, musical guests, and countless other events that happened all within the 30 days of June here in Lanesboro, Minnesota. When that sun gets hot and the legs start itching to hike and bike, make sure you head down between the bluffs and check out all of the amazing things going on right here in Lanesboro!

Celebrating Small Business

June 10th, 2015

Yesterday was a BIG day for Lanesboro!

10new

Director of Tourism Eric Leitzen introduces Lanesboro’s 10 new businesses for 2015. At right: Lanesboro mayor Robin Krom. Business owners, listed from left to right: Pat Shanahan, Iron Horse; Cheryl & Rick Lamon, Cheryl’s Fabric Garden; Shanalee Knight & Brad Erwin, Beautiful Something; Peggy Toft & Sara Kohn, Back Pedal; Paul Hamann, High Court Pub; Lori Bakke, Granny’s Liquor; Caleb and Blake Lauritsen-Norby, Barn Sale Antiques; and Stephanie Davidson, Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center Outpost

 

On June 9th, Lanesboro welcomed TEN new members to our business community. These small businesses included everything from antiques and boutiques to breakfast and after-dinner drinks to apparel and a place to lay your head. We even had KTTC, NBC Channel 10 come down to profile the event, because it’s not every day a town of 754 has 10 new businesses open up!

KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Things look bright for Lanesboro as we head into the brightest and most beautiful days of summer. Tomorrow, the world-famous Aroma Pie Shop re-opens for the summer in nearby Whalan, and what better way to reward yourself after a five mile bike ride than with some homemade pie? Who knows, maybe you’ll like the pie so much, you’ll want to buy the whole shop!

Fair warning: the trail will be repaired between Whalan and Peterson over the summer. You can check out the details here at the DNR website and, seeing as how you can’t keep biking east, why not bike back west to Lanesboro? Maybe you could take in a show at the Commonweal, enjoy a pampered stay at one of our historic Bed & Breakfasts, or maybe that bike ride back got you hungry again for a finedining dinner? When the sun gets hot and the bikes start rolling, there’s always something to do here in Lanesboro, Minnesota!

Happy Monthiversary!

May 29th, 2015
New Directors

Well, it’s a month and a day, but who’s counting?

 

Hello, Lanesboro! It’s great to be here!

Yes, it’s hard to believe it’s only been one month since Shirley Mulder and myself, Eric Leitzen, were named your new Lanesboro Area Chamber of Commerce Directors. As the seasons start warming up, so does the action and activity in Lanesboro, and we’re jumping right in!

Shirley is the Director of Business: it’s her job to make sure everything is running right here in Lanesboro. She’s already helped organize the Downtown Business Tour, where our business owners get to stop by each other’s shops, stores and eateries to see what’s going on inside… and trust us, there’s a LOT going on this year! Lanesboro, a town of only 754 people, has TEN new small businesses opening this year. These run the gamut, with many new antique shops, a motorcycle accessories shop and inn, a new liquor store, craft shops, a new diner, a new two-story pub, and a downtown outpost for the Eagle Bluff Envionmental Learning Center. Why not stop by this summer and check some of them out?

Meanwhile, I’m the Director of Tourism: we like to say that Shirley is the “in-reach,” and I’m the “outreach.” I’ve taken charge of the social media and marketing for Lanesboro as we start making a big splash on the national, and international scene. Did you know, for example, that Lanesboro was named one of Smithsonian Magazine’s 20 Best Small Towns in America in 2014? Not only that, but Lanesboro Arts, which turned the town into a city-wide Arts Campus, earned the Bush Prize for Community Innovation in 2014, as well! There’s too much good news to list here, so why not click here and see what everyone’s talking about?

Both Shirley and I are thrilled to be here and, now that we’re settling in, be sure to check back to the blog regularly for updates, including local business profiles, event reviews, interviews, community spotlights, and more!

And remember… it’s always a beautiful day in Lanesboro!