Stoney Ridge owners build lighthouse for Airbnb
Before Dean and Donna Lange, owners of Stoney Ridge in Burtrum, built an Airbnb tree house, it took Dean quite a long time to convince his wife to do it. Since the tree house opened in 2014, their Vrbo has been a popular place for many guests to stay. It simply gives them a unique experience while enjoying the peace and quiet in the woods of Minnesota.
Contemplating how full their bookings have been over the years, the couple decided to expand their business. Wanting to offer another unique Airbnb experience, they considered building a boat, but in the end, they chose to offer something greater — a lighthouse.
“We had never built one before, but we liked the uniqueness of it. There are a lot of Airbnbs we stay at times and love them, but the uniqueness of the tree house drew people. We decided that if we did another rental that it needed to be more than just a cabin,” Donna said.
Lighthouse also happen to be something Dean has loved for many years. Interested in historic architecture, as evident by the covered bridge leading to the tree house, a lighthouse was the right choice, he said.
Before starting the actual building project, Dean studied lighthouses and sought counsel on how to build one. Finding someone who had actually built one before was difficult. Given the different angles on a lighthouse, Dean resorted to building a model of it first to get a better idea of how it all fit together. It was easier said than done, but was eventually a success.
The Langes started working on the tree house in August 2019. Dean and Donna are very thankful that their son, Sam, has his own excavation business. Not before long, the road to, as well as the location of, the lighthouse was finished.
Dean said while regular houses usually have an 8-inch thick foundation, the lighthouse foundation measures 2 feet. It was also built 5 feet into the ground to hold the weight of the six-story lighthouse and to withstand wind.
The main floor includes a bathroom with a large shower, a bedroom and a kitchen and living room area. Staying true to the nautical theme, the flooring on the main floor is tiled with a medallion in the form of a compass and star placed in the center.