Most of us can remember those wonderfully nostalgic movies about a family on vacation. Whether it was to a fictional amusement park across the country or to a resort in the northwoods, these movies are easily recalled because they are so deeply embedded in the collective American memory.
Taking a vacation has been a rite of passage for American families. It’s been a tradition for over a century in Minnesota, and Leech Lake has been a popular destination for those memorable getaways.
Jeff Anderson grew up in that environment at his father’s resort, Northland Lodge, located on the south shore of Leech Lake, a few minutes from Walker. After graduating from Walker-Hackensack-Akeley High School in Walker Jeff partnered with his uncle, eventually buying the property and taking over his own resort, Grand Vu Lodge located on Pine Point on Leech Lake.
Jeff has served in the Minnesota National Guard for 21 years. He and his wife Terra and were married in October of 2020. Their blended family includes: Quinn, 20, who is active duty Army, stationed at Fort Drum; Harper, 8; Calvin, 21, who is studying aviation; Dylan, 18, who will be working at the resorts; and Kaylee, 14, who also works at the Anderson resorts.
They will all be busy enough this summer with Jeff and Terra’s newest resort, Anderson’s South Shore Resort (formerly Huddle’s Resort), which was recently added to the Anderson family resorts that include Northland Lodge, Spirit of the North, Horseshoe Bay, Grand Vu Lodge, Chippewa Lodge, Pine Point and Anderson’s Cove.
Anderson’s South Shore was formerly called Huddle’s Resort, owned by Roy and Kay Huddle. The resort was one of the oldest on Leech Lake starting when Roy Sr. developed the land and built cabins to rent out in 1928 (See related article). Huddle’s had a reputation for being that “home away from home” for hundreds of families over the years, and this is something Jeff and Terra are striving to keep alive.
After a year of consideration and conversation [about the possible acquisition of Huddle’s Resort], Kay Huddle approached the Andersons about selling the property. Her husband, Roy, had recently passed away and the time seemed right to begin a new chapter.
Jeff and Terra have renamed the resort to Anderson’s South Shore Resort and they are wasting no time as renovations are taking place now. The resort will be opening for the year in May on Fishing Opener Weekend, May 13-15. The lodge is being renovated with new bathrooms, carpeting, bar and booths. The bar/restaurant will offer burgers and appetizers along with specialty cocktails and cold beer from local breweries. Cabin 28 (located next to the lodge) will undergo upgrades including a fourth bedroom and a third bathroom, and a newly remodeled kitchen. The rest of the cabins will have new floors and bedroom upgrades.
Jeff and Terra have received nothing but positive feedback from resorters and locals alike. “The phone has been ringing off the hook,” said Terra.
“It has been very busy, and if it’s any indication, this summer will be very busy as well,” said Jeff. And when you stay at an Anderson’s Family resort you have privileges at the other resort’s amenities like the restaurants, bars, pools and boat rentals to name just a few.
With COVID-19 vaccinations in full swing people are gearing up for a getaway after a year of intermittent lockdowns and changes in daily life. In the spring of 2020 the pandemic lockdown resulted in an immediate cancellation of hundreds of reservations for the Andersons. Nevertheless vacationing at a resort in Greater Minnesota is shaping up to be one activity families can do and still be relatively safe while following COVID-19 guidelines-since they are already part of the same COVID “pod”.