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Gooseberry Park Cottages and Motel: New owners, new life

Ted Vanderbeek and Kirsten Mohr, new owners of Gooseberry Park Cottages and Motel.

Ken Vogel

The cabins and motel units at Gooseberry Park Cottages and Motel are getting a face lift from new owners Ted Vanderbeek and Kirsten Mohr. The couple took ownership in early March; they’ve since been busy remodeling their new business venture along with their new lives.

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Vanderbeek, a 23 year veteran of the St. Paul Fire Department retired in 2009 after a career-ending injury. Mohr was a registered nurse with Regions Hospital in St. Paul for over two decades, dedicating 16 of those years to patients in the burn unit. The professional relationship between fireman and nurse evolved and the couple married Dec. 7, 2013, with a second career ahead.

“This is something I always wanted to do but never thought I would do,” said Mohr. “One day I realized I was looking at another 20 years with the hospital and asked myself, ‘do I really want to leave my soul at the hospital?’” The next thing I knew, I found this resort on line, we drove up to look at it, and here we are.”

Current renovations include turning the motel rooms into sound proof condo units with kitchens, remodeling and redecorating the cabins and upgrading to queen-sized beds in all the units. Vanderbeek said he and his wife searched travel sites for reviews, then tried focus the renovations to address the suggestions guests made.

“We want our guests to be comfortable and feel at home,” Vanderbeek said, “we want to be known for taking care of our guests and their needs.”

Also on the agenda will be new roofs, windows and an upgraded picnic pavilion area with a shelter. “Our goal is to provide a private, peaceful setting for our guests to enjoy” added Vanderbeek. It would seem that the couple has accomplished that goal. Visitors are already returning positive reviews.

“It’s peaceful, you step out the door and you are immediately outside taking in the beauty of the north shore,” said recent guest Terry Trinka of Eagan.

He prefers staying at smaller family-owned resorts over the national chains.

“Too many areas have lost these small businesses that have been taken over by corporate America; I feel the allure of the north woods is in these small businesses and communities.” Trinka said he plans to return to the resort in the future for scuba diving and relaxation.

Gooseberry Park Cabins and Motel is located 10 miles north of Two Harbors on Hwy. 61. The business website is Call 218-834-3751 for more information.

LaReesa Sandretsky
LaReesa Sandretsky is a Two Harbors High School graduate and Duluth native who began working at the News-Chronicle in 2012 as a reporter. She took over as editor in 2014. She covers County Board, including the Lake County broadband project.
(218) 834-2141