Things really get moving at the Lodge in May. Opening day this year is May 31, and we will use every single one of the days leading up to that point to get ready. Spring-cleaning is the name of the game this month. Getting the Lodge prepared for opening is like having 25 vacation houses that lay dormant all winter, and then need to be ready all at the same time. We lean heavily on our local cleaning crew, with a great group of workers from Warrensburg getting the job done. They start cleaning the rooms the first week in May, and aim to have everything ready to go by the 31st. Rooms don’t necessarily get dirty over the off-season, but they do get dusty and stale. The spring cleaners toss each room and dust all surfaces, before putting the rom back together. Then Carla steps in and hangs the curtains and checks for details. Jerry and Rick tackle any little fixes that may be necessary, before the regular summer cleaning crew comes in and does a final makeup on the accommodation. Some years the process goes very smoothly and quickly. Other years it does not. But the result at the end of the month is always the same – Beautiful guestrooms ready for arrival!
Maintenance also kicks it into high gear in May. The water systems are turned on and tested. Depending on how we did in the fall draining the system, and how cold of a winter it was, we will find a few leaks and repair them. Emergency systems get their annual testing and certifications. The grounds take much of the month to come into shape. Hopefully April allowed us to clean up the large debris and such, and we then spend May mowing, sweeping, cleaning, shining, and putting things back to summer locations. Memorial Day Week is when all of the flowers on property are planted. Geraniums, Petunias, Vinca Vine, Spikes, Impatiens, and herbs for the Chef are potted and placed around property.
The Chef takes about 2 weeks to prep the kitchen, start staff, and begin serving food. It’s always a big day on property when the kitchen first puts out lunch for the staff! And that first time the smell of cookies wafts out of the windows isn’t so bad either.
The boats are launched in May. Most of the boats are stored in the Lodge boathouses. These are lowered into the water with hand powered chain falls. The motorboats are easy. You drop the boat and turn it on, done. The sailboats offer a bit more of a challenge. These are lowered into the water and then towed up to Yankee Marina. There we use a roof-mounted crane to hoist the mast off of the deck and into the vertical position. Cable stays are secured from the top of the mast to the deck of the sailboat, and tensioned. At this point the boat is almost ready to go. We take the sailboats on a few test voyages to check all the systems and make sure they are perfect. Lucky is the boatboy who gets “take the sailboats for test sails” duty!