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USCA 30th National: The Lake Effect

June 12-15, 2008 at the Buffalo House/Buffalo Valley Campground in Duluth, MN

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Lodging information:

Duluth has TONS of accommodations, most of them get pretty expensive in the tourist season. If you want really nice accommodations that are right in the middle of “the action” in Duluth, consider staying in Canal Park, 12.7 miles and 17 expressway minutes from the rally. Canal Park is a very touristy area with lots of nice motels, shops and restaurants; expect to pay upwards of $150 a night for a room. The motels listed below are not in Canal Park but they are either close to the rally site or represent a better value than others. I’ve taken the liberty of making a few “comments”.

The Willard Munger Inn is 8.9 miles and 20 minutes from the rally using local roads; 7.5 miles and 14 minutes using the expressway. Not the closest but probably will end up being “The” rally motel. The Munger is old and quirky but as clean as a pin. We have blocked all but one of the twenty-something rooms at the Munger for our group. They have a fire ring and grills outback so there will probably be some camaraderie to be had in the evening. Rooms range from a single [very small but fine for one person] on up to suites with whirlpool baths and fireplaces. The most expensive suite is still less than $130 and average rooms are considerably less. There are a couple of large rooms for families and they have roll aways. Book early, they will sell out and make sure to tell them you want to book on the USCA reservation. One late thought, the Munger is set up on two levels so if you have a person in your party that can't handle stairs be sure to mention that when you make your reservation.

The Willard Munger Inn
7408 Grand Ave.
Duluth, Minnesota 55807
Phone: 800-982-2453
Phone: 218-624-4814
Email: munger@mungerinn.com

Ranking right up there with the Munger in value, you might want to stay at the Allyndale Motel. This is an OLD motel but they seem to keep it up just fine. Décor is very ‘50s but it is clean and relatively inexpensive. The Allyndale is 7.3 expressway miles from the rally. That’s a very direct 9 minute trip on the expressway [the motel is just a few yards from the exit]. Like the Munger, I’d be very surprised if any two of the rooms are actually alike. Owners are on site. We stayed there one night while on a rally “reccy” trip and it was OK. Like the Munger, some rooms at the Allyndale require the use of stairs for access. Be sure to tell them if you can't deal with stairs. The Allyndale is less than 2 miles from the Munger if you want to buzz over in the evening.

Allyndale Motel Duluth
510 North 66th Avenue
“W and Cody Street”
Duluth, MN 55807
Phone: 218-628-1061

If you go south from the rally to Cloquet [the home of the only Frank Lloyd Wright designed gas station] there are two good places to consider. The Super 8 Cloquet and the AmericInn. These two are located side by each and are 9.9 expressway miles from the rally, about a 13 minute trip. They are exactly what you expect them to be, clean, modern and very “whitebread”. Nice friendly and very helpful folks; they gave me a phone book to take with me for the map inside.

The Super 8 Cloquet
121 Big Lake Rd
Hwy 33 and Big Lake Rd.
Cloquet, MN, 55720 US
Phone: 218-879-1250
Fax: 218-879-1250

AmericInn of Cloquet
111 Big Lake Road
Cloquet, MN 55720
Phone: 218-879-1231
Email: cloquet.mn@americinn.com

The two closest places are The Redroof Inn at Spirit Mountain and the Country Inn and Suites. These two places are across I35 from each other at exit 249 and are just a little over 5 miles from the rally [towards Duluth] via expressway. The Country Inn is exactly what you would expect from a Country Inn but the Redroof is not your average Redroof at least price wise. Both these places were well north of $100 a night when I checked [and the Redroof was highly miffed when I said that they were more expensive than most Redroof Inns]. Folks at the Country Inn were nice but they have very few rooms; they have a square dance convention booked on our dates.

The Redroof Inn (formerly Spirit Mountain Lodge)
9315 Westgate Boulevard
Duluth, MN 55810
Phone: 218-628-3691
Phone: 1-800-redroof

Country Inn & Suites By Carlson Duluth-South
9330 West Skyline Parkway , Duluth, MN 55810
Reservations: (888) 201-1746 US Toll Free
Telephone: (218) 628-0668
Fax: (218) 628-3095
Email: cx_proc@countryinns.com

The Mountain Villas are an alternative to a motel. I’ve stayed in these and they are kinda fun but they vary quite a bit from one unit to the next. I believe [though I could be wrong] that they are individually owned and are rented by a cooperative management company. If I tell you we call them the “mushroom houses” you’ll get the idea. Each unit is built up off the ground on a central core so effectively they are all shaped like mushrooms. They are two bedrooms and one or two bathes for the most part. They have an open plan living room and a kitchen and I believe they all have fireplaces. Yes, you might want a fire in June. They are physically the closest to the rally as the crow flies but because of the road they are about 5.5 miles and 9 minutes away. They are probably a good deal for a family or two couples ranging in price from $130 to $165 a night and usually have a minimum stay requirement of two nights.

Mountain Villas of Duluth
9525 West Skyline Parkway
Duluth, MN 55810
Phone: 866-688-4552
Phone: 218-624-5784

Duluth is choked with other options; cottage rentals, B&Bs abound and there are even a few exclusive resorts. Heck, if you want, you could stay on the east side of the Bong Bridge [yep, that’s the real name] in Superior, WI. The prices in Superior are a little lower and it would only add about 5-10 minutes to your trip to the rally.

For more info on Duluth hotels, this is about the best quick reference site I’ve found… http://www.duluthlodging.worldweb.com/

Good luck! Any questions, call Al at 612/759-4666 or email at Al@AlOlme.com.

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