LakeFest 2018 took place in July at Madden’s at Gull Lake in Brainerd, MN. This was the first time in the Club’s history that the event took place outside the state of Florida. We set forth with the goal to make the event more centrally located in an effort to attract members that find Florida too far away, and to attract northern members that find mid-winter Lake flying over long distances an issue.
This change in venue coupled with the large selection of alternative resort type activities at Madden’s proved to be a huge success! We had close to 120 attendees from many states including a larger west coast and Canadian presence, along with those coming from as far away as Australia attending. Also, we counted as many as 39 Lake Amphibians at one point all lined up at the airport. This was quite the sight to see! The Board would like to thank all those who made the effort to be there to make this a very memorable LakeFest.
Madden’s at Gull Lake is an amazing resort with a wide range of accommodations, most with lake-view units, several options for dining, and a wide variety of water-oriented activities. For golf fans, there are 63 holes of excellent golf. It has also hosted the Minnesota SPA annual spring meeting, often with as many as 75 float planes in attendance. For more information on the resort, please visit their website.
Looking Forward… With much thought, discussion and analysis, your entire LAC Board has made the decision to implement a year and a half separation between LakeFests moving forward. This would place the next LakeFest in the late winter/early spring of 2020, at of course a southern (or warm weather) destination, with the following LakeFest (very possibly at Madden’s) taking place during the summer of 2021. We believe this decision will benefit the broader membership as a whole. This should allow members a better chance to attend by offering different dates and different locations while alleviating some of the expense of travel.
We now have experience with two suitable venues for the event – Madden’s and the Hilton Garden Inn in Lakeland, FL. However, we are not married to either and would like to investigate other possibilities. Criteria for suitable locations are:
- Minimum of 70 lodging rooms available to reserve.
- Minimum of a 150 persons banquet space.
- Minimum of a 100 persons meeting space.
- Food service available for banquet.
- A general aviation airport close by with adequate parking for at least 40 Lakes.
- A commercial airport with airline service located a reasonable distance from venue.
- Fresh water open and available for seaplane use.
- Other convenient restaurants, attractions, activities, sightseeing, fly-out destinations, etc…
And the Board welcomes recommendations for alternatives sites.