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The Best Week of the Year at Madden's

I made my way down to the Lodge recently in hopes of getting the opportunity to meet a family who has been staying at Madden’s “for like 50 some years” as reported to me by various employees around the resort. As I walked up to the front desk I inquired about this family. “Oh,” the front desk agent replied, “She’s just walking in now!” Our agent went on to introduce me to a Mrs. Marion Dorfman. Marion asked me what I needed and I told her I had come down to interview her if she was willing. She was happy to speak with me. Actually she was very happy to. She and I chatted for a good half hour. She told me so many stories about her stays at Madden’s for the last 56 years… that’s right, fifty-six. Fifty-six years of enjoying what she claimed to be the best week of the year at Madden’s.

Marion Dorfman is at home in the Lodge lobby. She reports having taken naps in this very spot on more than one occasion relaxing to Frank Sinatra music.

I do want to tell you a little more about Marion, but before I do, I want to tell you about the best week of the year at Madden’s.

The best week of the year at Madden’s is the week when guests at the Lodge expect to see their friends from last fifty some years. Marion reported she always gets a little sad when she notices someone is missing from last year. “We’re always happy to know they picked a different week,” she stated. Because after coming back for over 50 years, sometimes those folks that are missing have passed on to a better place.

The best week of the year at Madden’s is when you walk in the door to check-in humming the theme song from Cheers, “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…”

The best week of the year at Madden’s is when the chef makes homemade rhubarb sauce all week upon special request for a loyal guest.

The best week of the year at Madden’s is when Nellie at the front desk announces, “Mrs. D (Marion) is here. It doesn’t dare rain!” And, it never has.

The best week of the year at Madden’s is when you can laugh and remember years ago when you used to come here and folks came to dinner dressed up in suits and wearing gloves.

The best week of the year at Madden’s is the week when you get to check in on your family friends you see once a year. “Look how much Bobby has grown this year!” “Wow, Jenny, you’re married already?” The same family friends that call when they read in the paper that your younger brother just got married or that your parents are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary.

A birthday party at a private dining room during the best week of the year at Madden's.

And you know the I greatest thing I learned about the best week of the year at Madden’s? After several interviews I learned the best week of the year at Madden’s is whenever YOU are here.

Shortly after interviewing Marion I learned she was not the specific person I had been given a lead on interviewing. Appparently many families have traditions reaching the 50 year mark in “her week.” And I think that is the charm of Madden’s. Marion explained it by sharing, ”There is something about this place that is magical. I feel. My kids feel it. Now my grandkids feel it.” It was one of those moments that makes you want to tear up just listening.

I invite you to join us at Madden’s. Don’t you deserve your own best week of the year tradition?

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11266 Pine Beach Peninsula
Brainerd, MN 56401

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