Looking for Eelpout Festival lodgingsWhat is the name of the hotel above the lake for the eelpout festival? Or what ones are by there so we can book a stay for the event? - Janet and Darin, Zimmerman, Minn.
You're thinking of Chase on the Lake in the northern Minnesota town of Walker, and yes, that would be a very good place to stay during the rowdy Eelpout Festival, Feb. 19-21 this year. Reserve as soon as possible.
The Tudor-style hotel was the most luxurious and expensive hotel north of Little Falls when it opened in 1922. For many years, it was the place to be in this Leech Lake town, named for a lumber baron whose fortune was plowed into a famous Minneapolis art collection.
Eventually, the hotel became ragged around the edges, and it burned in 1997. Until 2008, the hillside site on Minnesota's third-largest lake, a block from downtown Walker, sat empty.
The rebuilt Chase on the Lake is a beauty. This one also is gabled and half-timbered in the Tudor style, except its facade is artfully applied concrete. Inside, halls are lighted by stained-glass sconces, floors are laid with William Morris-style floral Arts and Crafts carpet and furniture is dark oak.
At lake level, there's the handsome 502 Restaurant, lined by windows. In its pub, leather banquettes line the wall, and the tap includes a nice selection of brews.
It also has an Aveda spa, bowling alley, indoor pool and Wii room.
There's also an AmericInn on the west edge of downtown, very close to the Heartland Trail, 218-547-2200, 800-634-3444.