The Old Barn Resort, Minnesota
Camp Minnesota: I’m talking with Jim Cassmann today. He’s the Director of Marketing at The Old Barn Resort in Minnesota. How’s it going today, Jim?
Jim Cassmann: Going very well, Clint.
Camp Minnesota: So, let’s start with how long The Old Barn Resort has been there and how it got its start.
Jim Cassmann: Sure. The resort has been established since 1990, and it was actually originally the part of the property that was owned by Edward Allis, as in Allis-Chalmers Tractors.
Camp Minnesota: Oh, really, same guy?
Jim Cassmann: Yeah, he built it in the late 1800s for his son. And his son got a little bit wild here and turned it into a horse racing operation.
Camp Minnesota: That’s pretty cool.
Jim Cassmann: Yeah, but it became in 1988. The Founder. That’s from the river state trail coming through right by the property, and he bought it and turned it into a resort with a campground and a hostel. And current ownership has owned it since ’96, and they’ve added an 18-hole golf course as well as a three-season pool.
Camp Minnesota: Wow, okay. So, you’re kind of segwaying into the second question here, which is: what are the most popular activities for the guests there? It sounds like golf is absolutely one of them. What else?
Jim Cassmann: We definitely do have the golf course, and we also have a three-season pool, which is one of the latest opening pools as far as staying open in the fall. In fact, we just closed it in October. We have those activities. We have our game room here, and the restaurant and lounge. Full restaurant and bar. We have a family volleyball court, and lots of other amenities. We like to keep things going, and that’s one of my jobs too; is to help with people, if they want events, as far as golf tournaments or company retreats, or wedding, anniversaries – all those kinds of fun things.
Camp Minnesota: Okay. And what types of camping do you offer there?
Jim Cassmann: We have full hook-ups down to primitive. So, RVs, tent, and anything in between. We also have some seasonal campsites left that just went through an expansion. We’ve grown from 172 sites total to next year we’ll be 275.
Camp Minnesota: Okay. Now, I’m looking on your website here, and it looks like you have a 38-bed hostel. Tell me a little bit about that.
Jim Cassmann: Sure. We like to say that’s camping inside, so to speak. And it’s a European-style hostel, and it’s a 38-bed, full-room hostel. And so, there’s a commons area with a kitchenette, and kind of a living room area as well. One room sleeps two. Another one that’s a family room that sleeps six. Then we’ve got two bunkhouse rooms that sleep 14 and 16 respectively, all on bunk beds.
Camp Minnesota: Wow, okay. And what’s the main type of groups that come there? I suppose you get just about everybody.
Jim Cassmann: Yeah, as far as the hostel, you know, we have quilting groups. We have hunters. We have people that don’t like to fish. Family reunion folks as well. I’ve seen it all.
Camp Minnesota: Okay. Now, what are some of your other favorite attractions in the surrounding area there?
Jim Cassmann: Well, certainly, we have the River State Bike Trail that runs from Fountain through Lanesboro and out to Houston, I believe. And then there’s a spur off of that, which is Harmony Preston Valley State Bike Trail. And that runs from this trail, connects on our property, through Preston and down to Harmony. So, that’s a huge draw. Of course Lanesboro has a huge arts theme with the Commonweal Theatre and the St. Mane Theatre. Lots of little shops. There’s an arts theme as far as there’s potters there and there’s artists there. A real vibrant economy.
Camp Minnesota: Okay, two more questions for you, Jim. If you could spend just one hour at The Old Bar Resort, how would you spend your time there?
Jim Cassmann: And I can only pick one thing, right?
Camp Minnesota: I’m pinning you down, Jim.
Jim Cassmann: Well, I guess, if I had an hour to spend, I would go out to hole number one and take a shot at number one, which goes off the bluff, across the river, and onto the other side. And then I’d hop back in my cart, come back up the hill, I would take a couple serves at the family volleyball court, and finish my hour out with taking a dip in the pool.
Camp Minnesota: That sounds pretty good. And if you could spend just one night at The Old Barn Resort there, in Minnesota, which specific site would you choose and why?
Jim Cassmann: Ooh, that’s a hard question. I have so many to choose from. I supposed I would pick one. There’s so many good ones. I guess I would pick an site simply because it’s up near the barn. It’s got a nice backdrop of trees and woods, and you’re not too far to get down on the bike trail, but really, none of the sites are really all that far to get down to the bike trail.
Camp Minnesota: Sure, absolutely, I’m sure they’re all good.
Jim Cassmann: Indeed.
Camp Minnesota: So we’ll pass that tip on to our listeners, and thank you so much to Jim Cassmann for taking some time out of your day to chat with us about The Old Barn Resort in Minnesota.
Jim Cassmann: Thank you very much, and you can always reach us at BarnResort.com.
Camp Minnesota: All right, will do.