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New owners purchase the Inn at Dunvilla, reopen the hotel after it sat empty for a season

The Inn at Dunvilla is open again, now with new owners. (Kaysey Price / Tribune)

After sitting empty for the last year, the Inn at Dunvilla is open for business again, with new, eager owners.

"The hotel was built in 2016, so it's brand new, and it's in beautiful shape," said one of the new owners, Paul Schnettler.

Schnettler and his partner in the business, Doug Hoskin, say they saw the inn as an opportunity they just couldn't pass by. Schnettler says they bought it for a very reasonable price, and it was all but ready to go, which made it very appealing. They jumped at it and officially reopened the hotel May 15.

The previous owners, John and Linda Grefsrud, built the hotel in 2016 but lost the business two years later when it fell into debt and was repossessed by Minnesota National Bank, according to the Pelican Rapids Press. The Press also reported that the new owners purchased the hotel with no encumbrances from the previous owners and have "clear deed" to the property.

While it is a nearly new facility, the new owners are still looking to change a few things.

"We would like to attract a restaurant partner. We own 12 acres of land that came with the hotel, but we'd love to build a bar and grill or restaurant, either right next to the hotel or attached to the hotel, to complete this as kind of a destination in itself," Schnettler said.

Dunvilla is a small Otter Tail community, north of Pelican Rapids on U.S. Highway 59. Dunvilla Inn manager Robert Kohler says he believes the rural setting sets them apart from other hotels in the area, but he thinks an evening restaurant, where someone could grab a cocktail and late-night bite, would be an advantageous addition to the area.

Kohler, who was general manager of the inn when it first opened in 2016, has returned to the property to resume his former position.

"When we first walked it, it was just like ... I had never left," said Kohler, excited to be back. "We're here to serve the public, and we're excited to be able to do that and to offer them a chance to stay at this great, luxurious hotel."

The new Dunvilla Inn owners will also continue a partnership with the Barn at Dunvilla, which is still owned by the family who built the inn. The Barn is a destination spot for weddings and other events, which is right next door to the inn.

The 30-room inn offers all the standard amenities of a hotel, including a free breakfast. They also have a saltwater pool and hot tub, which they are hoping to reopen next week after some deferred maintenance.

Of the 30 rooms at the Dunvilla Inn, 23 are standard rooms, five are king or queen suites, one is a deluxe king suite with an electric fireplace, and one is a two-room premier king suite.