Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures Expands its Resort Holdings to Big Sandy Lodge & Resort

MLCV Blog, Press Releases

McGregor, Minn. – Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures (MLCV) announced today it has purchased Big Sandy Lodge & Resort, in McGregor, Minn. The resort is located on Davis Bay, on the south shore of Big Sandy Lake. The sale includes the resort’s 18 lodge rooms, seven cabins, fourteen townhomes and one seasonal rustic retreat log home as well as The Pines Restaurant, The Bear’s Den Sports Bar & Grille, an indoor pool, hot tub and sauna.

According to Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, the McGregor area has been a market that has been on MLCV’s radar since beginning its diversification efforts in 2013.

“Our roadmap calls for a mix of hospitality growth in targeted markets as well as acquisitions that allow us to expand the local business economy within all three districts of the Mille Lacs Band reservation,” Nayquonabe said. “Big Sandy Lodge has a reputation as one of Minnesota’s premier resort destinations. We look forward to expanding upon the resort’s rich traditions by leveraging our experience in hospitality.”

Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe said that Big Sandy Lake is so important to the regional economy, but it is more than that for the Band. “We have a long history with Big Sandy Lake, and it is actually a very sacred place for Anishinabe people, so this acquisition was a perfect match for more than just business reasons. We are delighted to join the families of resort owners on Big Sandy Lake and honored to host the Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener this year with Gov. Mark Dayton.”

MLCV made the decision to acquire Big Sandy Lake Lodge & Resort based on its strong performance and its unique position as a premiere up-north destination resort on the Big Sandy watershed. No immediate changes are planned, but MLCV will monitor business operations and look for opportunities to improve efficiency and profitability over time. The property will be managed by LHR Hospitality.

Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe District II Representative David “Niib” Aubid said he was pleased to see the local investment in the community. “Today signifies an important milestone in District II. This investment will create job opportunities for our District. It’s a well-known resort and we are excited to be a part of the McGregor resort community.”

Big Sandy Lodge & Resort will be hosting the 69th Annual Minnesota Governor’s Fishing Opener from May 12-14, 2016.

Special programming celebrating the acquisition of the lodge is being planned.

About Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures
Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures manages all the Mille Lacs Band’s businesses, including Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, Eddy’s Resort on Lake Mille Lacs, InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel and the DoubleTree Hilton in St. Paul, Minn., the DoubleTree Minneapolis Park Place in St. Louis Park, Minn., 2020 Brand Solutions, Embassy Suites Oklahoma City and other Band-owned businesses such as a cinema, a grocery store, gas/convenience stores, a golf course, wastewater treatment plant, a commercial laundry facility, a medical office building and a print shop. It also oversees certain amount of the Band’s investments and considers new business opportunities to provide economic support for the Band’s future. Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures has over 3,500 employees and its board of directors is comprised of five members, who guide the business and investment decisions for the Band. Visit for more information.

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