Fire destroyed the clubhouse of the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake on Tuesday morning, authorities said.
“It rips your heart out,” said Terry Correll, who’s been the clubhouse’s general manager for 38 years. “We’re going to be out of the restaurant business until we can rebuild. It was a beautiful clubhouse, believe me.”
The club, at 2920 E. 220th St., hosts numerous sporting and hunting events. It maintains and manages 600 acres of hunting and shooting grounds where members hunt pheasant, partridge, turkey, waterfowl and other game, as well as five sporting clay-shooting courses, and rifle and pistol shooting ranges.
wThe clubhouse also hosted many weddings, banquets and other events.
“We consider the building a total loss at this point,” said Prior Lake Fire Chief Doug Hartman.
The cause of the fire, which was reported about 6:20 a.m., is under investigation.
“It’s a sad day for all associated with the Club,” a notice on its Facebook page posted early Tuesday afternoon read, “but rest assured that we will rise like the mythical phoenix from the ashes to be better than ever.”
There is “nothing suspicious” about how the blaze started, Sheriff Kevin Studnicka said.
No one was inside at the time of the fire, and there were no animals nearby, Hartman added. The club’s kennels and stables are located a good distance away.
All that still stood of the 10,000-square-foot, two-story structure were a pair of stone chimneys— one of which was still shooting flames — and part of a wall.
The clubhouse contained the Trigger’s Saloon and Supper Club on the second floor and the center of the club’s outdoor shooting activities on the lower level.
The club had scheduled a New Year’s Eve celebration for Tuesday night at Trigger’s; many diners’ reservations were being accepted by the Chart House restaurant in Lakeville, Correll said.
A championship pheasant hunting competition planned for the weekend will go on, Correll said, and the club should be able to continue operating its outdoor activities out of its other lodges.