Covid-19 Updates & Practices

Summer is Still On at Sugar Lake Lodge

Dear Sugar Lake Guests and Friends,

We are so looking forward to another Summer Up North. Hopefully, with fewer concerns around the virus that has consumed our lives for nearly a year now. We are approaching the summer season optimistically, in hopes that we will all be able to stand a little closer, but we will continue to monitor and respect the guidelines we are asked to follow. The safety of our guests and employees was front and center even before COVID19.

So, as I write this, we have decided to continue to follow the protocols we put in place last Summer and update them as good news comes our way.

We closed the resort back in September due to COVID and will open this year on May 28th. In our 28-year history, we have never closed or laid off any year-round employees. The good news is that all of those employees understood and are returning over the next few months as we have a lot of prep work to get ready for what appears to be a very busy summer ahead.

As we do every year, we are spending a lot of time thinking about your arrival and how we can make you comfortable and safe.

  • We have reordered another 20 cords of wood and invented a better fire-starter kit.
  • Housekeeping will continue to leave you with extra sanitizing items, extra linens, and towels – but for the sake of your 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 grab supplies at the front desk or text/call us and we will deliver what you need.
  • A new texting option is put into place to inform you when your room is ready.
  • There will continue to be free coffee and fresh-baked muffins available for take-out throughout the morning at Otis’s (this will begin Memorial Day weekend).
  • Otis’s will now open with for-purchase breakfast items for you to enjoy on the deck or lakeside. Think…the best breakfast burrito and croissant sandwich you have ever eaten. Again, this will be available starting Memorial Day weekend. Our tableside ordering is still on hold and seating indoors is currently restricted to 30 people. Delivery to your rooms is available or you can call us from the beach, pool, or even the 7th hole and we will have it ready for pick-up in 20 minutes.
  • For your convenience and peace of mind, we are offering curbside check-in again. Prior to your arrival, you will receive a letter with instructions. Check-out will only require a quick phone call and keys can be left in the room.

For activities: Our naturalist, John Latimer, and Casey the Storyteller will be back (by popular demand). We intend to bring back the Youth Golf Clinic as well. Everything else – from the kayaks to the mini docks – will be available. Given the demand we witnessed last year, we will be increasing the number of mini docks and several more stand-up paddleboards.

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.

Social distancing comes naturally up north overlooking Sugar Lake. We will continue to be aware and cautious, but we are confident we can all enjoy that Minnesota summer we look forward to.

Thank you for continuing to spend time up here at Sugar Lake – we can’t wait to socialize again!


Fred & Gwynne
Abby & Tim

Summer at Sugar Lake Lodge

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 touchpoints across the property for both guests and staff.
  • We will be cleaning and disinfecting all unavoidable touchpoints, implementing new safety practices for our staff, and offering take-out services 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
  • Plexiglass protective shields have been installed at all counters where there is guest/staff interaction
  • Hand sanitizer located in all public spaces
  • 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 countertop, front desk countertop, bathrooms, and pubic area door handles.

Guest Rooms/Housekeeping

  • 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, 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). We have elected to keep the comforters on the beds (you can request we remove the bedspread).
  • Specific sanitation consideration will be paid to the following guest room areas:
  • Desks and countertops
  • Phones and remotes
  • Cabinet handles, and hardware
  • Bathroom vanities and accessories
  • Mirrors
  • 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 dining on Otis’s deck, indoor seating, take-out, and delivery to rooms. Social distancing of 6 feet between guests is encouraged in all scenarios and masks are encouraged when inside any public spaces (Otis’s Grill & Bar, The Lake Store, Main Lodge). You are responsible for bringing your own mask.

Food and Beverage Overview

  • Otis’s Grill & Bar will be open with ordering at the counter with seating on the deck and seating indoors. Delivery to your room is available, you can call the restaurant to order.
  • Otis’s will now be open with for-purchase breakfast sandwich options, fruit, cereals, and muffins.
  • Alcohol is available for consumption in the restaurant, on the deck, or on the property only.
  • 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.
  • Coffee & muffins will be served by an attendant at Otis’s each morning from 7:00 am-10 am (starting May 28).

Golf Course Operations

  • Golf carts and pull carts are washed daily and touchpoints will be sprayed with a disinfectant spray between rounds.
  • Plexiglass protective shield placed at the 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.
  • We have placed portable bathrooms on the course and they are sanitized weekly. You should consider bring your own sanitizer or use the restrooms at the clubhouse or main lodge.
  • 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 clubhouse by a staff member.
  • Golf check-in is available at The Lake Store. Please practice social distancing and wear a mask.

Arrival, Departure, & Public Spaces

  • Guests have the option to call ahead of arrival for curbside check-in. Please note that rooms may not be ready before 5:00 PM, but please call ahead if you are arriving early and we will do our best to accommodate you.
  • Check out is available by calling the front desk upon departure and leaving keys in the room on the counter.

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:

  • Maintain 6 feet of physical distance
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
  • Frequent hand washing and use of available hand sanitizer
  • Stay home if you have any symptoms or are feeling unwell

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

Our cancellation policy for any reservation is 30 days prior to arrival.


Is the Pool Open?

The pool will be open and in operation as of Memorial Day weekend. We ask that you social distance as a family when on the pool deck/inside the fence. Please be mindful of an appropriate time limit to allow everyone to use the chairs.

Where can we eat take-out items?

Guests of Sugar Lake Lodge are allowed to eat take-out items inside the restaurant with limited seating, 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 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!)