Celebrate the Opening of the Lake of the Woods International Arena

International Arena

Whether returning to their hometown or to a favorite family vacation spot, for many Minnesotans the Fourth of July holiday is a chance to head north to celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, fireworks, and spending time at the lake. This year as part of Lake of the Woods Fourth of July week festivities, the community will celebrate the opening of the Lake of the Woods International Arena with a Community Skate and BBQ dinner.

This event will be the first opportunity for many community members and alumni to tour the new arena, which was built thanks to a generous $6-million-dollar anonymous donation and a continuing community capital campaign. The new state-of-the-art arena will be home to the Lake of the Woods youth hockey and high school programs but also act as the hub for a variety of community uses. In order to ensure the proper management and success of the new facility the Arena Board recently hired their first management employee, Samantha Lyon.

After a successful nonprofit career in Boston, Mass., Sam came home to the Lake of the Woods community in December of 2018 expecting to stay in the area for a short time as she looked to find employment in the Cities. While she didn’t expect to stay home very long, the opportunity to be the first arena director was too appealing to pass up. Sam grew up playing hockey for Lake of the Woods and was energized by the opportunity to give back to her hometown and help the organization with her organizational development and leadership skills.

“I am excited about the potential of the new arena to serve the community through hockey and a variety of other community uses. Part of what I was looking for was to be the Executive Director of a small nonprofit that would provide me the opportunity to perform a diversity of roles in meeting the mission of the organization.”

In addition to her professional pursuits, Sam has taken advantage of returning home by embracing the pace of life offered in Lake of the Woods County. For Sam, this includes gathering fresh asparagus and morel mushrooms, coaching 12U softball, spending evenings on the lake, and appreciating the magic of the Northwoods.

“Living in the area has been energizing, the pace of life allows you to relax and spend your time on activities you really enjoy.”

If you’ll be around the area for the Fourth of July, come to the First Community Skate in the new arena on July 6 th at 5pm. The event will include a ribbon cutting, community photo, open skating, and a smoked brat dinner compliments of Lakewood’s Food.


Open Skating: 5p-8p
Some skates will be available to rent!

Commemorative Big Group Photo: 5:15p*
*We’d like to mark the opening of the new rink with a big group photo. All are encouraged to join, so get there early if you want to be in the picture!

BBQ Dinner: 5:30p-7p – Featuring locally smoked brats from Lake of the Woods Smokehouse!
Adults – $10
Kids – $8
*** Bring your 4th of July Button for a $2 discount!

For more information, contact Samantha Lyons at  (218) 434-0307 or slyon@lwarena.com or check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lwcommunityarena/



Ship Shop Opens in Downtown Baudette

If you are driving downtown you may have noticed a new store has opened, Ship Shop Baudette.

Ship Shop is your one stop for shipping services, including courier service that will be running between stores. If you live in Baudette, but need to get something over to a friend in Roseau, but don’t have the time to get there in the next week, this service is perfect for you. Courier service is provided from the following stores; Hallock MN, Baudette MN, Warroad MN, or Roseau MN. Other stops may be made on per request basis.

Postal Services

  • Stamps
  • 1st Class Mail
  • Priority Mail
  • Express Mail
  • Parcel Post
  • Certified Mail
  • International Mail
  • Mail Forwarding
  • Personal Mailboxes for those who don’t have a physical address or live in Canada and need a US address

Shipping Services:

  • FedEx
  • UPS
  • SpeeDee
  • USPS

Packaging Supplies

  • Shipping Boxes
  • Bubble Envelopes
  • Flat Envelopes
  • Tape & Dispensers
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packing Peanuts

Document Services

  • Fax
  • Black and White Copies
  • Color Copies
  • Flyers
  • Notary
  • Laminating
  • Scan/Print/Email

Package Pickup

If you can’t make it to our store, give us a call or send an email and we can retrieve your shipments (within 10 mile radius of store). $5.00 pickup fee plus shipping and handling.

They also showcase items from Past Treasures in the store.

Ship Shop is open Monday – Friday from 9am – 5pm. Customer can also visit their website at www.shipshopstores.co

Spotlight Business: The Furniture Gallery

Furniture Gallery

Since 1998, Gary and Pam Larson’s Furniture Gallery has provided home furnishing to the Lake of the Woods area featuring  big city style and selection with small town service and prices. The Furniture Gallery is known for their fantastic styles and unmatched selection, drawing customers from as far as two hours away! Pam says,

I wish I had a dollar over the years for every time I get asked “What’s a big store like this doing in a small town?”  I just laugh and say go big, or go home! My thought is more is more! I knew in order to be successful in this type of business, you had to have good inventory, good competitive prices and wonderful showroom displays.”

Pam grew up in a large family in the Baudette area. After graduation, life took her to Port Charlotte Florida, where she became a certified Interior Designer and worked for the next 17 years in the furniture and design Industry.  14 of those years were with Bacons Furniture Gallery, who is now one of the leading furniture and design stores in S.W. Fl.

Upon moving home to Baudette in 1997 to help with aging parents, the Larson’s saw a unique opportunity in a 22,000 sq. feet former school building. The old Lake of the Woods school building came up for sale and Pam saw this as perfect opportunity to put her 17 years of experience in the furniture business to use. Now 20 years later, the Furniture Gallery continues to provide the area with unmatched quality and selection. In addition to the Furniture Gallery, Gary Larson is also the owner and operator of Baudette Builders, Inc.  

Her advice for prospective Lake of the Woods entrepreneurs:

“Successful entrepreneurship involves taking risks…. One of my favorite quotes from “Zig Ziglar” is “your attitude, not aptitude, will determine your altitude.”

While their businesses keep them very busy, the Larson’s also enjoy the benefits of living in Lake of the Woods County including the world class outdoor amenities such as boating and fishing on one of the largest lakes in the country,  the diverse friendly people, and living right on the Canadian border.

“ I get to look right across the rainy river from my kitchen window and say “that’s another country”!  We are so blessed living in God’s country.”

The Furniture Gallery is located at 111 3rd St NE, Baudette, MN 56623. For more information, visit their website at http://www.baudettefurnituregallery.net/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/baudettefurnituregallery/

Maple Gate Apartments Now Ready for Renters

Article & Photo Credit: Northern Light Region

The new Maple Gate Apartment building officially opened over the weekend in Baudette.

The 24-unit building is located at 510 1st Street NW and is owned and operated by the Baudette Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA).

HRA Executive Director Janice Nelson along with board members held an open house on Sunday to allow the public to tour the new complex which features two one-bedroom apartments which rent for $725 per month, 14 two-bedroom apartments at $850 per month and eight three-bedroom apartments renting at $975 per month.

“Heat, water, sewer and garbage are included in the rent,” Nelson said.

“There is also on-site laundry facilities and off-street parking.”

At Sunday’s open house, Mayor Rick Rone was given the honor of officially opening the new building.
“This has been a long time coming,” Rone said.

“Lack of housing is a major issue for us. The state came through with a $500,000 grant which helped make this a reality along with the city, county and HRA all working together we finally made this happen.

Those in attendance enjoyed refreshments and cookies. The Enchanted Cottage provided table decorations for the event.
For more information on the new apartments, or if you are interested in renting, you may call the HRA office at 218-634-2422, email to baudettehra@mncable.net or visit their website at www.baudettehousing.com.


SandPieper Design, Inc.

SandPieper Design Websites


For Katie Pieper life in the Lake of the Woods Community is the right choice for her and her family. Katie loves the area and helping area business tell their story. She uses that inspiration to fuel the creativity that makes her design business, SandPieper Design, so successful.

Katie is originally from Missoula, Montana but ended up going to high school in Coon Rapids, MN before venturing north to go to school at Bemidji State. It was there she met her husband, Chris Pieper, originally from the Lake of the Woods community. After marrying in 2004, she and Chris moved to the Lake of the Woods where she fell in love with tight-knit community, the big lake, the great school district, and most importantly, the people.

“We live where people go to vacation all year round. After work we have the luxury of hopping in the boat and taking our kids fishing. Ultimately I love raising our kids in a safe community where families watch out for each other. Don’t they say it takes a village to raise a family? This is what we have here!”


SandPieper Design Websites

With a background graphic and website design, Katie saw a great opportunity to start her own business in Lake of the Woods and SandPieper Design Inc. was born. SandPieper is a multifaceted design firm that specializes in digital and print marketing. As a digital marketing professional, she helps customers develop, build, and design custom websites and offer secure website hosting. This includes website design, social media campaign management, search engine optimization, any other service needed by businesses to achieve their online marketing goals. On the print side, SandPieper creates custom design logos, brochure, posters, flyers, banners, business cards, window decals, signs and much more! Helping local businesses make big impressions is what inspires Katie to keep growing her business.

“I love the fact I can help small to large businesses have the look and feel of marketing from the cities in our small town. To be able to see their signs, logos and marketing materials all over the place is a pretty neat feeling to know you are helping them make an impact and grow their company.”

Her advice for anyone considering Lake of the Woods:

“There are so many opportunities for growth in this community from shops, boutiques to services and contractors. Come to a chamber meeting and visit with the locals. There are lots of great people to help you make your ideas a reality!”

To learn more about SandPieper Design’s work or to contact them to request a quote, visit their website at www.sandpieperdesign.com

SandPieper Design


1, 2, 3 Business Startup Guide

Dear Perspective Business-Owner and Entrepreneur:

Thank you for considering starting a business in Lake of the Woods County, I think you will find that Lake of the Woods is a region that is open for business, and willing to assist and support you.

We know what an exciting time it can be to start a business. As excited as you are about starting a business, we are equally excited for you! As a community, we want to support you and help you be successful.

Starting a business can be confusing and stressful as well. To help, we want to make this commitment to you- you will not be alone. The Lake of the Woods Economic Development Authority (EDA) is specifically targeted to help entrepreneurs just like you. EDA staff will work with you to help you work through the process of starting a company here. From assessing your idea to applying for licenses and permits, we will be there to help.

This guide – 1, 2, 3, Start-Up – is meant to help you get started. It contains contact information and other resources that you will find helpful in starting your business. The goal of the guide is to not only make the process of starting your business easier and more seamless, but also to help you evaluate your idea so you have the best chance of success. Thank you again for starting a business in Lake of the Woods. Remember, it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

CLICK HERE to download 1, 2, 3 Start-up Guide.


Ryan Zemek