Milwaukee Sentinel Article 1943

To Our Valued Guests

The impact of the COVD-19 virus has left no one untouched. Even here at Coons Franklin Lodge, the summer home to so many generations of guests, the situation has left us with many challenging decisions. We have heard from many guests that “dreams of Coons is helping them get through these times”. Messages like these makes us work even harder to provide guests an escape on Trout Lake to look forward to during these stressful and uncertain times.

It is the memories that have been made and the long history of Coons and Trout Lake that help make the resort such a special place. During the many days of working on this letter, we wanted to be thorough and as informative as possible with the information at hand, we received an email from a woman who found this article about Coons in her Grandmother’s scrapbook. While we have seen this article from 1943 before, it seemed a fitting time to reread it and take to heart the obstacles that have been overcome in the past. Please read and enjoy the article as it reminds us of the many tough decisions and hardships the resort and the Coon Family have endured over the last 128 years of business. So, in the spirit of Gertrude Coon, we are planning to open for our 128th season. 

We are diligently researching and creating procedures for anticipated changes needed to comply with government regulations and social distancing guidelines (especially surrounding the dining room) that will allow us to open.  Over and above this, our primary concern is that Coons is a place people can come to relax while also keeping everyone safe and healthy. Fortunately, our cabins are well distanced so we can make the necessary modifications to keep aligned with social distancing regulations.

We are already implementing a few changes we believe are helpful in allowing us to open:

  • Lunch will be “to go” for everybody, hopefully some parents will welcome this! This will allow for one less interaction between guests and staff and most importantly, give us the opportunity to meticulously clean the dining room and kitchen. Online ordering will be available so your lunch is prepared, packaged and ready to pick up by cabin.
  • Smaller tables in Dining room – some of this will be dictated by CDC recommendations but we anticipate a limit of 10 people per table.
  • Addition of a second boat dock. Coons ordered a brand-new boat dock last fall but saved our boat dock from last year as well. This allows us to set up multiple docks and help give an option for people to spread out.
  • New procedures for staff on their access to the kitchen, cleaning of the guest common areas, wearing personal protective equipment and staff accommodation/meal guidelines.

We are also still working on additional ideas if needed as more information comes available:

  • Setting up a portion of the lodge for dining space to allow for additional separation between tables, staff and guests.
  • Multiple seatings for dinner and/or breakfast or to go options for those who would like to dine in their cabin.
  • Modifications to check-in and check-out procedures.

We realize this summer will not look exactly like past years but hope guests understand and appreciate what we still can provide, a resort on a beautiful lake with many of the same things we have all come to love. We may also add other fun and different happenings to help make up for some of the limitations! Our vintage Jeepster as an ice cream truck and traveling bar anyone?!?

Even with all the changes and safety measures that will be put in place, it is understandable some guests will not feel comfortable traveling at all.  For now, we have reduced the cancellation policy from 60 to 30 days to allow for more clarity when making the decisions. There will be a few options for cancellation or modifications.  These include, cancel and receive your full deposit back or have the option to move to later in the summer or rollover your deposit for 2021.

In the next couple weeks, we will be reaching out to the larger families with multiple cabins reserved as those are the hardest reservations to reorganize. We ask that all cabins are separate reservations meaning that if one family unit is unable to make it the rest of the family does not cancel.

We see dealing with last minute cancellations as one of our most difficult adjustments.

We are doing everything we can to keep our guests safe, but you need to feel comfortable coming to the Northwoods.

The Coon family remains optimist that we will be able to open the resort for the 2020 season despite this volatile and challenging times.

If nothing else, please be assured we are doing everything in our power to make sure we see you and your family this summer! Stay safe and healthy!

With Best Regards,

The Coon Family