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Lodging options expand in Whalan


By Morgan McManimon-Myers

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Whalan Progress Edition

Cycle Up Inn adds another lodging option for Whalan. Photo by Morgan McManimon-Myers



Those traveling through Whalan may have noticed two additions to the community landscape – Willow Cottage along Main Street, and Cycling Up Inn on Bench street, overlooking the golf course. Both buildings are available as rental lodgings and are packed with the latest amenities.

Willow Cottage is the newest addition to Cedar Valley Resort, a family business run by Larry and Cheryl Johnson, as well as their daughter Brittney Smith and son Lucas Johnson. The resort will be entering its fifteenth season this May. Originally opening with three cabins, the resort has grown into a family-friendly getaway, providing anywhere from three bedroom cabins up to eight bedroom cabins that can accommodate 16 to 40 people.

Brittney Smith graduated from Winona State University with a degree in business, and started full time at the resort after graduation. Her brother Lucas Johnson is currently a junior at Iowa State University studying construction engineering. According to dad Larry Johnson, the two degrees complement the purpose of the resort, and the addition of Willow Cottage was their chance to “get their feet wet” in the development facet of the family business.

According to Johnson, “the kids came up with the idea of building town homes – including the community look rather than the resort ‘log-cabin’ look”. Smith chimed in, describing how the style of the new Willow Cottage reflects that of the other buildings in Whalan, including the stone and siding exterior. “It’s a different architecture style,” she states, “more of a home-like style, but still a lot of wood and resort-type things on the inside.” They mentioned the more town-home feel of the building may lend itself well to the option of being sold back into the community in the future.

The structure is a six-bedroom town home that may be split into two three-bedroom cottages, with a 19’ by 42’ common room in back that serves as a connection between the two homes. Willow Cottage’s large windows and thoughtfully planned exterior contain many other amenities, including 5,600 square feet of handicap-accessible space, six full bathrooms and two half-baths, two completely modern kitchens, two great rooms, air conditioning, in-floor heat, stone fireplaces on both sides of the home, and outdoor fire pits, grills, and picnic tables. Another selling point is that it is located directly across the street from Whala .....
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Whalan Community Center given new life

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jan 24th, 2014
Posted in Whalan Progress Edition

It happens almost daily. Old buildings are torn down, leveled to the ground, to make room for modern progress. In the heart of Fillmore County, in our small communities, more and more are laying claim to these historical remnants, reclaiming them not ..... 
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