Six North Shore resorts have changed hands this week, with a group of Minnesota investors taking over.
Blackburn Investment Management, a Minneapolis-based private investment firm, had originally contacted Odyssey Resorts about buying one of its properties: Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen.
But as the discussions progressed, due diligence led to the investment company to decide to buy Odyssey's entire portfolio, teaming up with Brainerd-based Madison Hospitality Group to acquire Odyssey.
The resorts sold as part of the deal are:
– Beacon Pointe in Duluth.
– Larsmont Cottages in Two Harbors.
– Breezy Point Cabins on Hwy. 61.
– Grand Superior Lodge in Two Harbors.
– Caribou Highlands Lodge in Lutsen.
– East Bay Suites in Grand Marais.
Odyssey was founded in 1997 by Robert Ryan and has since expanded to now employ more than 300 people. Blackburn says that Ryan will partner with the company during the transition.
"We invest in a variety of businesses that we see potential in, and Odyssey definitely stuck out to us in this respect," says Blackburn CEO T.J. McMillan in a press release sent to BMTN.
"Our core focus is to continuously improve the customer experience, thus increasing the value that Odyssey provides to its current and future guests."
Blackburn said that its new portfolio is ripe for "future growth and development," and buying them all in one go will allow it to "maintain and improve the level of service and the luxury experience that guests have come to know and expect."
Its partner MHG has experience with independent and boutique resorts, and branded hotel brands including InterContinental (Holiday Inn etc.), Hilton (Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn) and Choice (Comfort Inn).
It manages properties in Alexandria, Bloomington, Ottertail and Ely.