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Snow accents Lanesboro’s Christmas Inn Tour 2013

Fri, Dec 13th, 2013
Posted in Lanesboro Arts & Culture

Santa and Mrs. Claus (Doug and Jan Baker) greeted visitors to Stone Mill Hotel and Suites during the Lanesboro Christmas Inn Tour on December 8, 2013 in Lanesboro, Minn. Photo by Barb Jeffers

A light snow throughout the day put the finishing touch on a seasonal favorite in Lanesboro, Minn. on Sunday, December 8, 2013. The annual Christmas Inn Tour was held from 2-6 p.m. while a beautiful fluffy snow covered the area bringing attendees holiday spirit to the surface as they toured the exquisitely adorned Bed and Breakfasts and Inns of the area.

Lanesboro, the Bed and Breakfast Capital of Minnesota, offers a self-guided tour where ticket holders can tour any of the businesses included in whichever order they prefer and spend as much time at each as they would like. This year’s Christmas Inn Tour included eight different Bed and Breakfasts, Inns, a resort, and Art Lofts. The participating businesses offered drawings for lodging stays for lucky winners who signed up along the tour. Refreshments and assorted treats were offered to tour guests as well.

Stone Mill Hotel and Suites opened the doors of the building which was built in 1885 and is owned by Colleen Lamon. The business has 11 themed rooms and each seemed to have a touch of the holiday spirit. Mr. and Mrs. Claus (Doug and Jan Baker) were on hand to greet visitors as they walked in. Free wine tasting was offered compliments of Scenic Valley Winery of Lanesboro. The adjoining gift shop was also open for anyone wishing to shop for holiday gifts or a little something for themselves.

The Scandinavian Inn Bed and Breakfast, owned by Peter and Vicki Torkelson, had “a lot of people” come through on the tour according to Vicki who stated, “A bus load of people had just left,” but it had been very manageable throughout the day. The Scandinavian Inn was decorated simply but beautifully with items such as handmade edible ornaments on the tree. The Inn and each of its five guest rooms felt like a home away from home making it a comfortable choice for a getaway.

Berwood Hill Inn Bed and Breakfast was built in 1873 and began as a Bed and Breakfast in 1998 by Fran Scibora who lived in the house as a child. The home is three levels that seem to go on forever with interesting things to look at in every direction. Deb Meyer, innkeeper, lives in the house and tends to guests’ needs. Meyer said that four people decorated the trees at the Berwood Hill Inn, but the owner made the decisions as to how they would be decorated. Meyer stated that she gets awesome guests at the Berwood Hill Inn which she enjoys. Fran Scibora’s brother, Larry Berland, was available during the tour to answer any questions of the visitors. Berland remembers living in the home and has fond memories of Christmas in the home as they were allowed in the living room during the holidays. They usually were not as his mother wanted to keep it nice for company. Berland stated they had a good turnout for the Christmas Inn Tour and the weather this year was different from last year’s tour when the weather felt more like fall. Berwood Hill offered guests refreshments and snacks in the kitchen of the house.

The Habberstad House Bed and Breakfast was sparkling in holiday glitter and glam from outside and the theme continued inside as live music was being performed. Owners Nancy and Dave Huisenga put much effort into spreading the holiday spirit throughout the Inn. Standing in a third floor window watching snow fall onto the sprawling lawn outside as dusk fell was a spectacular view. Apples in bushel baskets waited on a dining room table as complimentary gifts for guests.

The Historic Scanlon House, which has been owned by Kirsten Mensing for 27 years, was the first Bed and Breakfast in Lanesboro and has seven rooms. The smells of the Christmas season filled each room with scents such as caramel and each room had a taste of the holidays.

Mensing stated that she also had a bus load of tour guests stop and had been very busy with many people coming through on the tour.

The Art Lofts, which are above Cornucopia Art Center, were also part of this year’s Christmas Inn Tour and gave people a chance to see the private fully furnished retreat space. Each loft sleeps six people and has full kitchen facilities. The space was decorated artfully with many homemade ornaments and decorations just as one would expect from the art center. The view of a white main street out the front windows was just as interesting as the view of the Root River out the back windows. Giving tours was Fran Sauer who stated they had visitors on the tour from places such as La Crosse, Wis. and Estherville, Iowa.

Hillcrest Hide-Away Bed and Breakfast is owned by Marv and Carol Eggert who have operated as Innkeepers for the last 10 years. There are guest rooms on three levels. The home was built in the 1920’s and was decorated like it would have been in the 1920’s. Homemade treats were handed out including caramel corn and the Eggert’s had the recipes available for guests on the tour. Carol takes special care of guests of the Inn by delivering a fresh baked loaf of bread outside their door each morning followed by breakfast later.

Carolers from Home Spun of Harmony, Minn. arrived at Hillcrest Hide-Away during the tour and included Bethany Bierman, 13, and Rachel Mundt, 16. The carolers made the event even more specials as they visited the participating businesses.

Cedar Valley Resort of Whalan, Minn. was included in this year’s tour to the delight of owners Larry and Sheryl Johnson this year’s Minnesota Resort and Campground Associations Operators of the Year. The resort offers nine cabins with the largest two each accommodating up to 40 people. Each cabin has been decorated for Christmas in a rustic feel suitable to the cabins. With snow falling outside the decorated cabin and a fire burning in the fireplace the feeling of Christmas warmed the heart as guests walked from room to room.

The businesses included in the 2013 Lanesboro Christmas Inn Tour provided a wonderful day of reminiscing, laughter, and admiration of such beautiful places that Fillmore County has to offer. For photos of every business from this year’s tour visit the Fillmore County Journal Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fillmorecountyjournal.

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