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A Northern Minnesota Getaway

Kohl’s Resort creates lasting memories for families, friends and even pets

Brian and Ashley Putnam both spent summers of their youth along the shores of Minnesota lakes where they were molded by the memories and traditions they created with their families. In 2020, during the thick of Covid lockdowns, the opportunity presented itself for the Putnams to buy Kohl’s Resort in Bemidji and they jumped at the chance. Upon check in at the lodge, you might notice a handmade figurine that was affectionately carved by Brian in honor of his favorite resort owner, Ralph. It serves as a daily reminder of him living out his childhood dream. Ashley admits that owning a resort has always been more of Brian’s passion but acknowledges, “Everything fell into place, and we just had the overall feeling that this was our destiny.” 

The long-lasting traditions and standards of the resort are very important to the Putnams. They had the opportunity to meet the original owner, Helen, who opened Kohl’s as a 2-cabin resort in 1948. The Putnams also shared that one family will be returning for their 56th visit this summer. “We want families to come here, create memories and traditions, get away from the city and leave it all behind.”

Accommodations at the resort include twenty-two unique cabins and two pool side rooms. Many of the cabins offer enough space for multi-family gatherings. Thinking about making a trip north for a girls weekend? You’ll be sure to find ideal lodging here. The resort offers a plethora of outside games, an indoor pool, amazing hiking opportunities, and other various activities to keep your family and friends entertained. New this year is the Woodland’s Putt Putt where the whole family can practice their short game. At Kohl’s there is truly something for everyone.

A bonus for many families is that Kohl’s is dog friendly, so you won’t have to find other plans for your furry family member. The resident dog, a hefty lab named Windsor, can often be found in the lodge ready for a belly rub or scratch behind the ears. Ashley is certain that Windsor knows when new guests have arrived. On Saturdays, the typical day of turn over, he roams from cabin to cabin greeting the new guests and finding out which ones give out treats.

Supporting local merchants is very important to Ashley, whether it’s stocking the lodge with products and apparel made in Minnesota, or suggesting her favorite local spots to their guests. Being only ten minutes from downtown Bemidji, Ashley and Brian have a list of local recommendations which includes restaurants, breweries and shopping. This makes Kohl’s the perfect destination for the nature lover and foodies alike.

This time of year brings back to school to do lists and activities along with the feelings of sweet summer moments slipping through your fingers. It’s not too late to plan an end of summer getaway or take advantage of the beautiful fall at Kohl’s Resort. Ashley and Brian believe in serving their guests with their whole heart, “We have been given the opportunity to share good and we don’t take it lightly.”