Photo courtesy of Chuck Hunt, Faribault County Register
Right in the heart of Elmore, Minnesota, sits a building ready to fulfill your heart’s desires: Heartland Retreat and Rental Hall.
“For the retreat side of the facility I’m targeting quilters, scrapbookers, beaders, knitters, rug makers, etc. I’m also focusing on corporate retreats and training, families for holidays, weddings, funerals, reunions and get-togethers,” explains Lissia Laehn. “To rent it as a retreat, there needs to be a two-night minimum stay. You can rent the main floor rental hall portion, for a half day or full day. This is more targeted towards birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, confirmations, family get-togethers, community events, concerts or plays, or corporate meeting or parties. So, in summary, if you rent it as a rental hall, you have access to the entire main floor. If you rent it as a retreat, with a two-night minimum, you have access to the entire facility. The second floor houses 18 beds in eight bedrooms, three full baths, a lounge and game room. The main floor includes a 2,100 square foot workroom or banquet hall; a large, fully stocked kitchen; two bathrooms; a comfortable entry with seating and coat hall; and sanctuary that seats 120 with rooms for chairs, tables, games, etc in the back, open space.”
She opened the facility in September.
“I have been to many quilt retreats over the years and a few of them are in churches that have closed and been converted. When this came for sale, I sent it to my quilting friend and said, ‘Wouldn’t this make an awesome retreat?!’ Her response was, ‘Go for it!’ And the rest is history! Opening and owning a retreat facility was never on my radar. The opportunity just presented itself and I ran with it with the help of my family and friends,” she says.
She saw a need for a space such as this in her rural community.
“Elmore and the surrounding communities don’t have a number of options for something like this. To find a facility that can accommodate up to 250 (on the main floor) is hard to come by in the rural parts. It’s unique in that you can rent the whole facility and have everyone under one roof, without strangers coming and going, like you would in a hotel setting. It’s much more intimate for a family get together. Years ago, too, women stayed at home. They could get-together with their friends for their hobbies anytime. Now women are part of the workforce and finding time to wind down and have fun with a hobby is harder to come by. This gives women the perfect opportunity to get together,” she explains.