Covid-19 Updates & Practices

Summer is Still On at Sugar Lake Lodge

Dear Sugar Lake Guests and Friends,

I wish all of you could have sheltered in place with us up here at Sugar Lake. I drive 2 miles to the lodge at 5 AM every day and count no fewer than 8 deer crossing the road and as much as I wish there were no geese around in the summer, hearing them flying over my office at the break of dawn is an amazing sound.

Like almost everyone, we need to accommodate for the wave that just hit the shore, but we truly believe it is just for one year.

We are spending a lot of time thinking about your arrival this summer and how we can make you comfortable and safe. It’s clear we have to make some adjustments and we aim to do so with two very important goals in mind: Your safety and that of our staff while focusing on making your stay relaxing and enjoyable.

Did you know that our guests burn over 20 cords of wood each summer? That’s about two semi-truck trailers worth. With social distancing in mind, we are doubling our available fire pits so your family can help us burn over 40 cords.

Our tableside food service has been put on hold, but we are preparing a shortened Otis’s menu that can be ordered via text to be delivered to the deck, your room, or for pick up. You can text us from the beach, pool, or even the 7th hole and we will have it ready for pick-up in 20 minutes.

Our award-winning* breakfast buffet has been put on hold. Serving over 100 people, buffet style, is not an option this year. Coffee and a pastry item will be available for take-out throughout the morning at the main lodge. *We gave ourselves this award.

We are fortunate that two of our activities already encompass distancing guidelines: nature hikes with John Latimer and Casey the storyteller. Both of these activities will continue this year and they will be better than ever. However, our golf and pickleball clinics, yoga, as well as tubing will be furloughed until 2021. Everything else – from the paddleboards to the mini docks – will be available.

Housekeeping will leave you with extra sanitizing items, extra linens, and towels – but for the sake of yours and our staff’s health, it is best we stay out of your unit during your stay – therefore maid service will not be available. You can text us for supplies and we will gladly deliver them.

For your convenience and peace of mind, we are offering curbside check-in. Prior to your arrival, you will receive a letter with instructions. Check out will only require a quick phone call. Keys can be left in the room.

Gwynne and I started Sugar Lake Lodge 26 years ago with a focus on personal service and providing added value and we feel bad that some of our favorite offerings have to be placed on hold for a year. So we have come up with a couple of ways to make it up to you.

For this year we will provide a 20% discount on any purchases of food, merchandise, rentals and golf with a cart. Since golf is a great social distancing activity we have decided to offer our guests a special rate for walking: $9 for 9 holes and $18 for 18 holes.

We have put together a comprehensive list of all the preventative measures we will be taking to ensure a safe and healthy environment. Please read on to learn more about that information.

Our property is a great location to take a big, collective, much-needed deep breath. Social distancing comes naturally up north overlooking Sugar Lake.

We are confident we can all enjoy that Minnesota summer we deserve now more than ever. Thank you for continuing to spend time up here at Sugar Lake – we can’t wait to socialize again!

Fred and Gwynne Bobich

Our Approach to a Safe & Healthy Summer

Sugar Lake Lodge is committed to doing everything we can to make you feel safe and comfortable during your stay this summer. Guests are encouraged to practice appropriate social distancing and take personal precautions as needed. We have designed new procedures and protocols for guest and staff safety.

  • We will do everything in our power to minimize touch points across the property for both guests and staff.
  • We will be cleaning and disinfecting all unavoidable touch points, implementing new safety practices for our staff, and offering take out services via call or text to make it easy (and fast!) to get that long-awaited Otis Burger.
  • We have created more areas for families to convene at a safe distance, including new fire pits and seating areas overlooking Sugar Lake.

Staff Protocols

Training & Preventative Measures

  • All staff to receive COVID-19 training regarding safety procedures and best practices
  • Year-round staff and managers have been trained and directed in cleaning and disinfecting high traffic areas
  • On-hand disinfectant and cleaning supplies available for use daily


  • Staff is encouraged to practice social distancing
  • Protective masks will be available for staff use (optional)
  • All staff will be subject to no-touch temperature tests prior to shift start
  • Plexiglass protective shields have been installed at all counters where there is guest/staff interaction
  • Hand sanitizer located in all public spaces
  • Disinfectant spray bottles and clean towels will be provided in all common areas and guest rooms
  • Door handles, keyboards, phones, handrails, restrooms, common areas, and flat surfaces are being cleaned various times per day

Public Area Cleaning Protocols

  • Cleaning and sanitizing frequency has been increased in all public spaces: Otis’s bar top, The Lake Store counter top, front desk counter top, bathrooms, door handles

Guest Rooms/Housekeeping

  • Housekeepers will use disposable one-time use gloves
  • For your safety and the safety of our housekeepers, we will not be providing daily maid service. Our housekeepers will only enter the rooms after the guests have checked out and departed. Guests are encouraged to text or call us for towels and toiletry items throughout their stay, in which will be delivered to doorsteps in single use bags.
  • Pillow protectors on the guest room beds are to be changed after every stay
  • We are going with a 3 sheet bed arrangement (Fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket and top sheet) and removing or bedspreads (You can request a bedspread).
  • Specific sanitation consideration will be paid to the following guest room areas:
  • Desks and countertops
  • Phones, tablets, and remotes
  • Cabinetry, handles, and hardware
  • Bathroom vanities and accessories
  • Windows, mirrors, and frames
  • Closets, hangers, and other amenities
  • Tables and chairs
  • Thermostats
  • Doors and door knobs
  • Bathroom fixtures and hardware
  • Lights and lighting controls

Food & Beverage

Food and Beverage options will be available for take-out, grab and go, pick up, and delivery. Social distancing of 6 feet between guests is encouraged in all scenarios.

Food and Beverage Overview

  • Otis’s Grill & Bar will be open for take-out (all) and delivery (guests only)
  • The Main Dining Room is closed
  • Menus are single-use and will be sent to you in our guest arrival and electronically
  • All guest contact items – pens, credit card processing machines – are sanitized after each use
  • Food preparation stations are sanitized at least once per hour
  • Kitchens are cleaned and sanitized at least once per day


  • Our breakfast buffet is not available this year
  • Coffee will be served by an attendant at the front desk each morning
  • Coffee and a to-go pastry will be available at Otis’s Grill & Bar from 7am – 10am

Lunch & Dinner

  • Take out and guest-only delivery will be available from Otis’s Grill & Bar from 11am-8pm. You can also come into the restaurant and order food and seat yourself in the dining room or on the deck.
  • Walk-in, call, or text to place orders (number available soon)
  • We encourage all guests to house charge orders. By house charging, we will be able to expedite the process and better serve you, including a guest-only discount to be applied when utilizing this process.

Alcoholic Beverages

  • Alcohol is available in to-go form for consumption on property only.

Golf Course Operations

  • Golf carts and pull carts will be sprayed with a disinfectant spray between rounds
  • Plexiglass protective shield placed at check-in counter
  • Flag sticks should not be removed. Cups have been outfitted with a plastic insert to allow the ball to fall into the hole with easy access to retrieve without touching the flag
  • No portable bathrooms on the course available – Otis’s building or Main Lodge restrooms only
  • Ball washers and rakes have been removed from the course
  • Water coolers on the course have been removed – guests are encouraged to bring their own personal water bottles to be filled up at the club house by a staff member
  • Golf check-in is available at The Lake Store, limit to 10 guests at any given time

Arrival, Departure, & Public Spaces

  • Guests have the option to call ahead of arrival for curbside check-in
  • Check out is available by calling the front desk upon departure and leaving keys in the room on the counter
  • Entry doors and handles to be sanitized at least once per hour

General Practices/Guidelines

Avoiding the spread of germs is our main concern and we ask that guests join us in adhering to the following social guidelines:

  • Wear masks inside all public areas
  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
  • Frequent hand washing and use of available hand sanitizer
  • Stay home when you are sick

Closed/Cancelled Amenities

At this time, the following have been closed or cancelled to allow for safety of both guests and staff.

  • Breakfast Buffet
  • Golf Clinic
  • Pickleball Clinic
  • Yoga
  • Tubing
  • Main Dining Room
  • Driving Range through June 18th

Cancellation Policy

We have waived our cancellation policy for any reservation through August 2020. All we ask is that you give us as much advance notice as you can.


Where can we eat take-out items?

Guests of Sugar Lake Lodge are allowed to eat take-out items in the restaurant, on our decks and anywhere on the property. We encourage you to practice social distancing, so we have provided more chairs, spaced-out tables, and areas for you to utilize on your own. We ask that you help us maintain a clean environment by disposing of your to-go items in the trash when you are finished.

Will alcohol be served and where can we drink it?

Alcohol will be available in to-go containers for consumption in the restaurant, on the decks, in rooms or anywhere on the property. Congregating in large groups is not allowed in the restaurant or public spaces, and guests are encouraged to be responsible and safe.

Is the Pro Shop open?

Golf check-in is available in our new Lake Store, located inside Otis’s building (same spot as always, just a new name!)