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Country Inn: New owner, new rooms, new signs

A new sign is just the tip of the iceberg at Country Inn. New owner Keith Bakke has poured a half-million dollars into improvements and upgrades at the hotel. Photo by Jim Erickson.1 / 3
Manager Vicky Louks, who has worked at the hotel for 13 years, worked with new owner Keith Bakke on the renovations of the hotel. Photo by Jim Erickson.2 / 3
All 46 rooms at the hotel have new beds, linens and duvets, among a number of other improvements. Photo by Jim Erickson.3 / 3

With a new owner and a longtime manager working together, Country Inn of Two Harbors has been renovated and updated.

Owner Keith Bakke and Manager Vicky Louks, who has been at the hotel for 13 years, excitedly showed off $500,000 worth of changes on Tuesday. The improvements included new carpet, paint, furniture, flat screen TVs, refrigerators and microwaves. Each of the 46 rooms also has new beds, linens and duvets. The lobby areas have been remodeled and the hotel now offers a full, hot breakfast buffet -- a big step up from the previous continental offerings like cold cereal and fruit, Louks said.

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Bakke, who has been in the hotel business since 1983, bought the hotel in April and got to work immediately, finishing renovations by June.

Country Inn of Two Harbors is independently owned and not affiliated with Country Inn & Suites By Carlson, which gives Bakke free reign. He was able to create his own vision for the inn. He said the design of the new sign is meant to mimic the colors of the outdoors. He also worked with the Minnesota Historical Society and the Library of Congress to grace the property, including every room, with framed vintage black-and-white photos from Two Harbor’s past.