Design plans for a bigger and better clubhouse at the Minnesota Horse and Hunt Club in Prior Lake should be finalized by the end of the month and construction of the new facility should begin in April, the club’s longtime general manager said last week.
A fire on New Year’s Eve destroyed the club’s headquarters and Trigger’s Saloon and Supper Club, forcing the cancellation of some indoor-centric events. But the offices relocated to the larger of the club’s two lodges and most of its outdoor shooting and bird hunting tournaments have gone on as scheduled.
“The fire didn’t slow the business down,” said general manager Terry Correll. “Mother Nature slowed the business down. People aren’t going to go out and enjoy shooting in below-zero temps and 30 inches of snow.”
Three large events, including the U.S. Open Pheasant Hunting Championships, are coming up in the next 30 days, said Correll. Spring shooting leagues will begin in mid-April.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the state fire marshal’s office. Correll said it probably was electrical.
In all, he estimated the loss of the building, its contents and lost revenue at more than $2 million.
Ten kitchen and restaurant employees were laid off. Correll said he hopes to bring them back for the U.S. Open, which runs April 3-7.
By last week, the debris and detritus from the fire had been hauled away. The removal of the building’s foundation may have to wait until warmer weather arrives.
Correll said if all goes right, the new clubhouse should open in mid-August. The rebuilding will allow the club’s restaurant to be open to the public all the time rather than only when there isn’t a wedding, banquet or some other event, Correll said.
Correll said there’s been a lot of community support for the club. “We’ve had all kinds of people, not just members but avid customers, drop by just to see what’s going on. It’ll be a process, but staff-wise, everybody’s positive, looking forward to the new clubhouse.”