Sons of Norway Third District, LTD – Land of the Vikings Sale

(The following is the letter written December 29, 2020 to all Third District members by president Kathy Dollymore regarding the closing of the sale of Land of the Vikings)

Photo of Land of the VikingsAfter the decision was made by the Third District Board, with the recommendation from the LOV Board, to cease operations at LOV, the world was hit by the Coronavirus. The March 2020 3D Board meeting was held at LOV but LOV never reopened after that. The 3D LTD Board authorized a committee to be formed to find knowledgeable persons to assess the property, investigate sale opportunities, and basically put a plan together so that LOV could be closed and then sold in a professional, safe, legal, ethical and moral way to hopefully satisfy most if not all of our 3D membership.

Land of the Vikings (LOV) Cultural Center was established as a fraternal project in 1978. The property was conveyed to Sons of Norway 3/D LTD as owners (Third District Limited).

Our negotiating team, which included 3D Vice President Stephen Helmold as chair and consisting of LOV Board Treasurer Karen Olsen-Helmold, 3D Sports Director Paul Kornbrekke, and 3D Zone 1 Director Elaine Breiland, went right to work.

The negotiating team received inquiries from several parties seriously interested in the property and there were a number of tours to view the property. We were looking for people who would appreciate the heritage of LOV, share our vision for this property and allow our continuation for lodge meetings, youth camp, and family reunions while still keeping the “Viking Impression”, but without turning away any possible buyers.

It is a local fixture and has been a mainstay in the Sherman area for generations. We are thrilled to continue the legacy through Mr. John Elliott by his welcoming of our members and families for their visits, reunions and vacations at the same place they have so enjoyed in the past. Meeting with him during a tour of the property gave me a positive feeling that another generations’ love of the facility will go on. All of this happened because of individuals who don’t give up and who are responsible for what happened here today.

We feel that the goal of keeping the history and culture of the property viable and updated will move forward with this new owner. Our beloved facility is being given a new lease on life. It may be under new ownership and may have the new name of Big Valley Lodge but the phone number remains the same, guests will recognize the facility, the rooms, the rosemaling valances in the rooms and much of the décor. They will still be able to enjoy a drink at the beloved Viking Ship Bar. Families will still have the pool, the children’s playhouse with the dragon figurehead, volleyball, shuffle board and games to enjoy.  Walk up to the falls in the Summer, enjoy the changing of the leaves in the Autumn and cross-country skiing in the Winter.

In other words, the many hours, the many months, the entire process of putting the deal together, the effort of touring the property, the negotiation process, and making it work for everyone has all been successful. And all this under a full year’s time period and with Coronavirus to deal with. The negotiation team worked hard to make everyone happy and were finally able to close the deal. Today I signed papers transferring the Land of the Vikings deed to the new owners. I’m excited about the future of this property. I think we have found a great partner in the new owner, bringing enthusiasm as well as knowing the local area and being passionate about the community. Good things are coming.

Thank you to all the devoted members and non-members who have supported Land of the Vikings through the years.  Without their dedicated support we would not be able to look back on the past 42 years and reflect on them as a success. Thank you to everyone who has put their heart and soul into Land of the Vikings. And thank you to all the 3D membership for their patience as we end this chapter in 3D history in a manner suitable to our Tremendous Third and move forward to a new chapter in our great Third District.

Fraternally,

Kathy Dollymore

Third District President