LITTLE FALLS (AP) -- A popular lodge and restaurant built nearly 80 years ago in this central-Minnesota city is set to be reopened after sitting dormant for the last three years.
The Pine Edge Inn traces its roots to 1923. The aviator Charles Lindbergh -- who grew up in Little Falls -- made it one of his stops after his famous trans-Atlantic flight in 1927
David Holmgren and his brother, Erik, plan to offer limited coffee shop hours at the Pine Edge in May. Eventually, the brothers hope to have dining space for 180 people, 29 suites and ballroom events for 150.
"We'll have national recognition here over time. I can guarantee it," David Holmgren said.
The lodge has been through many changes since an Elks fraternal organization built it as a social hall with rooms that provided rental income.
Travelers once remembered Little Falls for the landmark inn, said Jan Warner, who heads the local historical society.
"A lot of people in the community are coming up to us very excited about it. Being at the front door has been quite interesting," Warner said. "I just don't think I've experienced this before."
The Pine Edge that Holmgren envisions will have the physical charm of past decades but a different atmosphere -- one that's affordable and appealing to a broad group of people, he said.
"We want to be sure that we attract a younger audience as well as maintain the wonderful history that we have," said Holmgren, who's 33.
Some signs of the past have already shown up in the renovation. The original lobby desk appeared unexpectedly when three layers of paneling came down, and windows appeared when a wall was dismantled in a dining room.
The Pine Edge's heyday was from 1937 to 1989, when it was owned by the family that started Madden's Resort near Brainerd.
Story contributed on-cycle by the St. Cloud Times.
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