Midwest Living Review
Welcome Home -- the phrase painted on the entrance sign to Northern Michigan's Tee Lake Resort -- isn't uttered casually here. Owner Dave Gugel, who took over his family's resort last year after several years at the Walt Disney Corporation, selected the resort theme in honor of all those suffering from Michigan's economic downturn. He wanted to be sure that those who couldn't afford a second home or cottage still could feel like they did, with the added bonus of no upkeep. It seems as if he's succeeded: In summer, 30 percent of the clientele are large families or groups who rent out the entire small resort for themselves. The four 1930s-era lakeside cabins are homey and affordable at $635/week for two bedrooms that sleep four (pets welcome). But they've also been given a facelift and fun but classy vibe through the creativity of Gugel and co-owner Andy Bauer. The two made structural changes, raising dropped ceilings and updating interiors. They also fashioned headboards out of old doors and scouted for vintage dishes, then carefully set cabin tables to match a given theme. And, with modern, harried travelers in mind, they made things complimentary that were once BYO, such as towels. Guests who can pull themselves away from their homey waterfront decks get free access to paddle boats and kayaks, plus weekly s'more making around a bonfire, and occasional pontoon rides. Look out for loons!