Category Archives: Madden’s Events

Feature articles on events going on at Madden’s

Cheers the New Year at Madden’s New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner

Before the clock strikes midnight and the champagne toasts begin, enjoy a decadent meal and savory wine at the Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake.

New Year’s Eve is a time to cherish your friends, family and yourself. Get away from the crowds and celebrate the night in an intimate setting overlooking the beautiful, snow-covered golf course.

Mingle with friends and other guests as social hour begins the night at 5:30. Dinner commences at 6:30 and will include seven delicious courses each paired, with a different wine provided by Wirtz Beverage and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

The meal features a variety of options from lobster to tenderloin dressed up to please every taste bud and concludes with a heavenly combination of fruit and chocolate. As an extra bonus, a bottle of wine will be raffled off with each course!

This elegant dinner costs $120 per person. Please call (218) 829-2811 for reservations.

We hope to see you as you ring in the New Year on December 31!

New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner
The Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake
December 31, doors open 5:30 p.m., dinner being at 6:30 p.m.
Call (218) 829-2811 for reservations

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Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Food & Beverage, Madden's Events


2011 Gingerbread House Luncheon at Madden’s

Whether we like it or not, the holidays are right around the corner. Soon it will be time to put up the tree, haul out the holly, and deck the halls. Decorating your own house might sound like drudgery, so why not enjoy decorating a gingerbread house instead?

Madden’s invites the entire family to enjoy a Gingerbread House Luncheon on Sunday, November 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Classic Grill.

After enjoying a delicious lunch, choose from an entire buffet of candy and decorations to create a scrumptious gingerbread house. Chef Bob has been building gingerbread houses for more than 10 years, and he will be in attendance to offer his decorating expertise.

The luncheon costs $45 and includes lunch for two and a gingerbread house to decorate. Add another person to your table for $10. Please call (800) 642-5363 for reservations.

We hope to see you on November 27 amidst the candy, gingerbread and holiday spirit!

Gingerbread House Luncheon
The Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake
November 27, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Call (800) 642-5363 for reservations.


Posted by on November 14, 2011 in Madden's Events


Choosing a Minnesota Wedding Venue

So here I am, recently engaged and I want to pick the perfect wedding venue. I don’t know about you other engaged ladies (and gentlemen), but I have a million things on my list of making my perfect wedding. I’m one of those girls who has dreamed of her wedding since she was little. I remember one summer when I was in junior high, my cousin and I bought a giant bridal magazine. As we paged through with wide eyes, we cut out all of the dresses, rings, shoes, accessories, and decorations we wanted for our wedding… someday in the far future!

Interestingly enough, most of the things I picked out then, like purple bridesmaid dresses, are the same things that I want now. But now there’s an even bigger picture. Like picking a venue both parent’s like, figuring out how we will budget for the giant affair, learning how much to tip on this and that, selecting a hair dresser, where to buy the dress, and the list goes on.

I’ve sent out like a hundred inquires to venues all over because I realized I had no idea where I wanted my life changing event to take place at. Part of me wants a gorgeous church wedding with an all white reception to follow. Picture starched white linens, calla lilies, and hydrangea.

And then there is the side of me that is addicted to purple. Picture majestic royal purple wedding. Maybe a light pink accent? Okay, I know that doesn’t go with the majestic theme, but oh well! It’s my wedding right?

As you can see I still have no idea what I want. Even after all these years! Lucky for me, I’ve still got plenty of time to plan! What I do know is I want is a venue who will work with me; from day one of planning to the night of my big event. I want a venue I can depend on. An on-site event planner? Yes please! A complimentary tasting of my menu before hand? Necessary! Not having to worry about tipping everyone who lifts a finger? Wouldn’t that be nice!

As a Madden’s employee, I’ll admit, I am a little biased. I love this place! Beautiful views. Wonderful service. Exceptional dining. I can’t think of a better place. My close friend Sarah just took over our weddings at Madden’s meaning she’ll be with you each step in the planning process; meeting in person for tastings and planning, over the phone meetings to iron out details, emails, and of course she’ll be there behind the scenes on your big day. Sarah is recently married and totally in tune with the wedding industry. She can connect you with many local vendors for everything you need from flowers to a DJ to photography.

Now, I’ll be honest with you. I haven’t chosen my venue yet. You see I am still teetering between my home state of Minnesota and my fiance’s home state of Florida. But I will give you a lead if you are looking for a Minnesota wedding. Madden’s on Gull Lake is fabulous. Period.

What you need to know to get started planning:

1. Visit Madden’s wedding page:
2. Submit an inquiry by clicking the link at the bottom of the page. (Make sure you fill in as much of the form as you can. It will help Sarah respond more quickly)
3. Sarah will email you with all of the basics so you can see how Madden’s can make your big day perfect.

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Posted by on November 2, 2011 in Madden's Events


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Bagpiper Rings Out the Golf Season

For 6 years now, Madden’s have taken on the the Scottish tradition of putting the golf course to sleep by playing bag pipe music. We don’t “tuck in” the golf course every night, but twice a year we use the signature sounds of a live bag pipe. Once to open the golf season in April and again in October to close the season.

The idea stemmed from a visit to Pebble Beach golf resort in Pebble Beach, California. President Brian Thuringer enjoyed their tradition of the Scottish bagpiper playing every evening to put the golf course to sleep. He loved the idea and so we have incorporated it into our opening and closing traditions.

Opening the golf courses: At 7:30 am Saturday morning of Opening Party in April, the bag piper walks across the Pine Beach East golf course (playing the pipes), comes into the lobby, plays for about 15 minutes, then walks down the hall into the hotel lobby and magically disappears.

Closing the golf courses: At high noon of our closing day in October (typically Sunday), the performance is reversed.  He starts in the lower lobby of the hotel, plays in the lobby, then walks across the Pine Beach East course and disappears into thin air.

The bagpiper in the photo is Michaeal Breidenbach. He is the Director of piping at Macalaster College.  and is the Pipe Major of their Grade 3 competition band. He has been a full time bagpipe teacher and performer since 1999. Click here to learn more about Michael and his Bagpipe Associates.

Brian Solum, of Bemidji has also piped for us in the past. He started piping in 1993 with the Macalester College Pipe Band in St. Paul, MN.  After relocating to Bemidji in 1999 he formed the 1st City Pipe Band, which eventually dissolved in 2005, and simultaneously assisted the Fort Frances
Highlanders in Ontario, Canada.  These days he is back touring and competeing with Macalester’s G3 Band under Michael Breidenbach (our other piper!).

What you need to know:

What: The Bagpiper putting the course to sleep for the winter.
Where: Pine Beach East golf course
When: October 23, 2011, at 12 pm.


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Closing Party at Madden’s

Fine dining. Fine Wine. Adult-focused. Evening bonfires. Beautiful fall colors. Adult Olypmics. Golf Scramble. Lawn bowling, croquet, and golf clinics. Wine glass painting. What more can you ask for in a fall getaway?

Each year at Madden’s we send off the season with a closing party. This year is our 82nd annual closing party – what a tradition!! The closing party is a weekend of fine food and wine geared toward adults. Imagine yourself enjoying a cool night sitting around a bonfire each evening.

Have you been able to join us for it yet? Why not try it this year! We have all of the same great amentities and services as social season and it is at an incredibly low rate! This year the dates for closing party are October 14th through the 16th. And we’ve dropped rates not just for closing party, but are offering the same prices as early as October 9th with our Fall Colors Getaway!

Fall Colors Getaway, October 9-14
Closing Party Getaway, October 14-16

The closing party weekend package includes breakfasts, dinners, a complimentary welcome reception, and golf on Pine Beach East. Rates begin at $82 per person per night. We welcome you to give one of our reservation specialists a call to learn more.

What you need to know:

What: Madden’s 82nd annual closing party
When: October 14-16, 2011
How: Call 800.642.5363 to speak with reservationist or reserve online at

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Posted by on September 19, 2011 in Family Time, Madden's Events


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Madden’s Murder Mystery Weekend

Madden’s on Gull Lake is the perfect backdrop for a suspense-filled weekend of murders, treachery and deceit.  Mystery lovers beware, the Madden’s Murder Mystery weekend will take place September 30 – October 2 so gear up for a thrilling few days.

What is a Murder Mystery Weekend you ask?

Prior to visiting Madden’s on Gull Lake, actors are cast and rehearsed as the culprits in a sinister plot.  The actors arrive just as other guests do meaning no one can be trusted and anyone could be in on it.

Guests will find themselves in the middle of a live-action adventure, conducting their own investigation into a 21st century homicide case.  They will discover and analyze hidden evidence, and interrogate realistic suspects in the form of incognito actors, all while also being treated as a culprit.

Be prepared to laugh out loud but beware as almost anything can happen.  Each experience
offers a chilling opportunity for people with a passion for cold blooded murder, slippery red herrings, diabolical clues, and ingenious detective work.  This is the perfect time for guests to immerse themselves in an unusual, exhilarating, and spine-tingling adventure! Of course, if you solve it, there’s always a prize for the best solution, along with bragging rights.

Called “The Masterminds of the genre,” by the Los Angeles Times, a Keith & Margo’s Murder Mystery Weekend is an interactive experience designed especially for those who love a mystery with a twisted sense of humor.

Complete weekend packages includes room, meals and the murder mystery experience.

CALL: 800-642-5363 for reservations or click here for the weekend’s itinerary.

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Posted by on September 5, 2011 in Madden's Events


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’sis 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 Seawood family enjoying their first "best week of the year at Madden's."

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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