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Year in Review at Cragun’s Resort: Big Changes in 2016, Big Plans for 2017
Year in Review at Cragun’s Resort: Big Changes in 2016, Big Plans for 2017

Cragun’s Resort and Cragun's Legacy Courses in Minnesota

2016 was quite a year for Cragun’s Resort, with our family-owned Minnesota resort celebrating its 76th year in business. As we inch closer to the New Year, we’ve been doing a lot of reflection. Read on to discover how Cragun’s changed and evolved over the past year, as well as some major milestones.

The Super Storm

Reflecting on this past year actually extends back to the Super Storm in July 2015. Never in Cragun’s history had a storm of this magnitude struck the area. The aftermath of the storm certainly affected the end of 2015 and a good part of 2016.

Brainerd MN 2015 Super Storm Damage

Storm Damage at Cragun’s Resort MN

Damage from 2015 Storm in Brainerd MN

A few facts about the storm:

  • Nearly 600 guests were at the resort the night of the storm. No one was hurt, and for this we are eternally grateful.
  • The resort was without power for 90 hours.
  • The resort was closed from July 13-22, 2015.
  • The golf courses were closed July 13-29, 2015.
  • Despite being closed, Cragun’s Legacy Courses were able to fulfill a bride’s dreams and have a full wedding the weekend following the storm.

Summer Wedding at Cragun’s Resort

  • Cragun’s lost over 3,500 trees between the resort and the golf course.
  • All 82 buildings had a property claim. The roofs were replaced on all of the structures at the resort and golf course.
  • 400 different items were listed for business personal property losses. How much paperwork did this involve? About 10 inches!

Cragun’s Resort Storm Damage Paperwork

The drone video, below, was taken in late August 2015 and shows the progress made just a little over a month after the storm:

The Excitement (and Upgrades) After the Storm

While repairing the damage from the storm was a top priority, Cragun’s also had a lot of projects already scheduled for 2016. Needless to say, it was a very busy year. Here’s what’s new and exciting at our Minnesota resort:

Lodge Room Upgrades

All bedspreads in lodge rooms were replaced with triple sheeting—this was an amazing transformation. Along with new mattresses, pillows, a lot of new carpeting, and flat screen TV’s, many of the lodge rooms at Cragun’s have a whole new look and feel. This winter we will be replacing the bedding in most of the cabins with triple sheeting as well.

Cragun’s Resort Lodge Room Before Upgrades

Lodge Room Before Upgrades

Renovated Cragun’s Resort Lodge Room

Lodge Room After Upgrades


Old Look of Cragun’s Lodge Room

Lodge Room Before Upgrades

New Look of Cragun’s Lodge Room

Lodge Room After Upgrades

Cabin 115

Cabin 115 was available for our guests in late April 2016. Cabin 115 is located on the north end of the resort and includes over 4,000 square feet of living space. It is located a short distance away from the main resort and has a private deck, dock, fire pit and grill.

This cabin includes 6 bedrooms and 5-1/2 bathrooms, a full kitchen, gathering room with a gas fire place and a game room with pool table. Guests who used the cabin in 2016 were thrilled with its spacious layout that works well for large family groups, golf groups or even a bachelorette party!

Pool Table in Cragun’s Cabin 115

Cragun’s Resort Cabin 115

Lake View from Cragun’s Cabin 115

Cabins 801 & 802

Cabins 801 and 802 were also added in 2016. These cabins are located off the main resort property next to the Legacy Golf Courses. These cabins were designed to handle golf groups of 8-10 and include full kitchens, large yards with decks and fire pits, foosball tables and more.

Cabins 801 and 802 are available to rent year-round and also work well for family or corporate groups that do not need immediate access to the resort. They would also work very well for snowmobile groups with on-property parking for snowmobiles and direct access to the trails.

New Cragun’s Resort Cabin

New Cabins at Cragun’s Resort MN

The 340 Hospitality Suite

Just down the hall from the indoor pool, a new hospitality space was configured that is called the 340 Hospitality Suite. This is a versatile room with table seating for 24, two lounge areas a gas fireplace, multiple televisions, a wet bar and a private deck. Adjoining lodge rooms can be booked for private gatherings.

Hospitality Suite at Cragun’s Resort

Hospitality Suite at MN’s Cragun’s Resort

The North Wing Upgrades

Most of the rooms in the north wing of the resort were updated including replacing paneling with sheetrock, new light fixtures, new flat screen televisions, new paint, pictures and mirrors, new headboards, nightstand, chairs and a dresser and modifications to the fireplaces.

: Cragun’s Resort Room Renovation

Cragun’s Resort North Wing Renovation

Bridge Repairs

Bridge repairs at Cragun’s Legacy Courses have been ongoing since the fall of 2015. Bridge repair has been completed on Dutch #5, #13 and #14 continuing the legacy of sustainable resource management that is part of the Audubon Signature Sanctuary Program.

Bridge at Cragun’s Legacy Golf Courses

New Delicious Eats

Irma’s Kitchen

It’s all about the food and we had some exciting additions in 2016! Cragun’s remodeled and rebranded the Hungry Gull Restaurant to Irma’s Kitchen. The name for Gull Lake’s freshest new restaurant was chosen to acknowledge the important role that Irma Cragun played in the food service at Cragun’s over the years.

All food items are made in house using many of Irma’s recipes and only the freshest local ingredients. We received exceptional reviews from our guests and most recently competed in the Taste of the Lakes event and took home awards for “Best Entrée,” “Best Dessert” and “People’s Choice Award.”

Irma’s Kitchen at Cragun’s Resort


Delicious Steak Entree for Two at Irma’s Kitchen at Cragun’s Resort

Cabana Café

Located at the indoor pool, the Cabana Café also opened this past summer. The Cabana Café serves breakfast, lunch and light dinners in the poolside cabana area. The menu includes snacks, sandwiches, salads and a full cocktail menu with seating available poolside, on the adjacent sun deck or in the nearby dining room.

Cragun’s Resort Cabana Café Logo

Burger from Cragun’s Cabana Café

Cabana Café at Cragun’s Resort

Cragun’s is looking for an even bigger and better 2017. A third cabin (Cabin 850), located near the Legacy Golf Courses, has been remodeled and will be available for spring golfers.

We have also started construction of four new large cabins called the Bayview Villas. These 7 bedroom, 6-1/2 bathroom cabins replaced the Rustic Cabins and will be ideal locations for family reunions. The Bayview Villas will open in spring 2017. In addition, we will also complete the remodeling of the north wing rooms.

Upgrades and repairs to the resort infrastructure are always ongoing. They are probably not noticed by our guests but rest assured that you have a comfortable, safe and fun stay every time you visit Cragun’s Resort in beautiful Brainerd, MN.

If you want to learn more about Cragun’s, check lodging and cabin availability, or make a reservation, contact us today!