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Iowa Tourism Office recognizes Charles City getaway as the 2015 ‘Outstanding Rural Lodging’

Iowa Tourism Office recognizes Charles City getaway as the 2015 ‘Outstanding Rural Lodging’

Red Cedar Lodge welcomes visitors for recreation, businesses

Featuring spacious cabins with rustic decor and floor-toceiling windows, the Red Cedar Lodge has been a tempting getaway home for seven years on the edge of Charles City. It’s not a town secret either, after the Iowa Tourism Office named it the 2015 Rural Outstanding Lodging in the state.

The year-round lodge, owned by Tom and Lorraine Winterink, features three cabins with full kitchen facilities, and can each house 8-10 people.

“Our goal is to bring people to Charles City. We were targeting the region to bring them to Iowa, and I think the tourism office really liked that,” Lorraine said. “We’re just really excited, very honored.”

Visitors from across the Midwest have found vacation homes at the Red Cedar Lodge, and returners request the same cabin year after year, Tom said.

The cabins opened in 2009 on the 28-acre property, and are modeled on family vacation TOURISM DRAW

cabins from the Winterinks’ time spent in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and California. The Winterinks welcome close to 1,000 people each year, mostly from Iowa and Minnesota, but occasionally from Chicago, Kansas City, and as far away as Paris.

“Some people have come to feel like this is ‘their’ cabin, their getaway cabin, and we like that they feel that way. They do settle in on one that becomes theirs,” Lorraine said.

The lodge offers kayaking and canoeing trips to guests along the Cedar River, along with proximity to bicycle and snowmobile trails, disc golfing and shopping in Charles City.

“We have a lot of people who have never been on a kayak, never been on a canoe,” Tom said. “It’s a pretty popular (option).”

The lodge has previously gained area recognition after a guest and travel writer briefly featured it in ‘Midwest Magazine’. The cabins’ baskets of books, games and puzzles encouraged readers to start calling in, Lorraine said, and opened Charles City businesses up to an even wider midwest audience. The lodge was the 2014 Outstanding Lodging Runner-Up by Iowa Tourism as well.

“Our guests, time and time again, comment how much they love Charles City, and how friendly the people in the community are,” Lorraine said. “Charles City puts on their best face for our guests, and we really appreciate that.”

For information on reservations, guests can visit www.theredcedarlodge.com or call the office, 641-228-3444.

By Kate Hayden [email protected]

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