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Cottage House Inn Celebrates 30 years

November 16, 2023

Congratulations to the Cottage House Inn on 30 years in operation!

Over the course of the last three decades, the Cottage House Inn has been an anchor to Lanesboro as it has grown and expanded. While formed to be a resort town, the economic ebbs and flows over 100 years had changed the make-up of the community. But as they tore up the railroad tracks getting the Root River Trail ready for paving, Andy Bungee – who had recently relocated his shop from Preston — saw an opportunity. “There were plenty of B&Bs for yuppies who would spend $150 but there was no place for families or senior citizens,” Andy said last year, in a story featured in the 2023 visitor guide.

Outside view of the Cottage House Inn in Lanesboro, MN
Photo courtesy of the Cottage House Inn.

“We were able to buy several houses right next door to each other, we built the shop first to have a basis of operations, and we would have the tools and storage necessary to build the hotel,” he continued. This is how the 30-year institution was born. This family-owned and operated business has now seen three generations at its helm but it’s always stayed true to the values that drove the family to start the business to begin with — service and hospitality.

Bunge started the business with his parents, Waldo and Marilyn, along with his siblings, Mary and Erik (who also founded the Commonweal Theatre). Andy designed and built the hotel, and Waldo and Marilyn managed it until 2004 –Their niece, Lynne Bunge Susag managed the hotel for 16 years before passing the reins to her niece, Alison Bunge Leathers who grew up in the Cottage House.

When asked about what it means to be successful after so many years, Bunge reflected on something his grandfather told him when he was starting his career, "If you decide to go into business, whether to produce a widget to the best of your ability and if you charge fairly, the money will come. And if you live within your means, you will be happy. I guess our success isn’t in dollars and cents, it’s in the satisfaction of our great service and quality handy work.”

As the conversation weaved from subject to subject, Bunge got the heart of what he thinks is the path to running a successful business. “Love one another, accept people for who they are, and live as a citizen of the world. Try to love people as best you can, what you do in Lanesboro or Preston or SE Minnesota might have an unimaginable impact.”

You can check room availability and make reservations for a stay at the Cottage House Inn by Clicking Here.

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