Experiencing The Keweenaw: Connie’s Adventure

Connie Hiltunen, our head of housekeeping, has been working at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge (KML) for over 19 seasons — she started working at the Lodge in 2000. Her upbeat attitude has been a sure staple for all who have met her.

Before joining the Lodge in 2000, Connie worked in Copper Harbor with the Country Store.  She wanted to experience a change, but stay in the harbor.  She began working at the Lodge in the pro shop. When she first started in the pro shop, she knew nothing about golf; however, she quickly picked up on the golfing lingo and found herself at the pro-shop for two years. Connie enjoyed the various conversations she had with the many golfers she met; whether they were locals from town, tourists from out-of-state, or members of the golf league.

After working in the pro shop for two years, she decided to take a year-long break from her work at the lodge. When she returned, she spent one season working in the kitchen before being offered the position of housekeeping supervisor in 2004. Connie has remained the head of housekeeping since 2004, and her dedication to this position is the result of having an amazing housekeeping team that makes working at the lodge a great experience.  

Some of the things that Connie enjoys about working at the Lodge for all these years would be the wildlife and scenic drive that she is able to see and experience every day. Last year, there was a doe and two fawns that would often hang around the golf course and lodge. Connie was fortunate enough to see both of the fawns up close when they wandered beside her office window. The fawns were not the only small animals that could be seen at the KML, such as the sandhill cranes that spend each year walking along the golf course with their younglings. She had recalled the rare experience she had one year when there was a moose that had traveled onto the golf course. The facilities staff had originally spotted the moose, which had wandered from the wall at the edge of the course and moved up to Hole 6. If you are looking to see wildlife, the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge would be a good place to start.

One of the fawns from outside Connie’s office window.

As head of housekeeping and a seasoned employee, you would believe Connie would have many stories about the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. She shared a comical story about a special instance with the local wildlife and one of her housekeeping staff. A few years back at the lodge, there were several foxes that had made their home near the entrance of the resort. While cleaning one of the cabins with the door open, one of the housekeeping staff turned around to see the fox looking in on them. The staff had to quickly sneak behind the cabin door and shut it before the fox had a chance to venture into the log cabins.

For Connie, the one thing that will never get old while working at the Lodge is the ability to see the beauty of the area on her commute to Copper Harbor. The scenic drive is something she would recommend to anyone traveling through the area. She travels the Brockway Mountain Drive and Route M-26 in the mornings, where she insists the sunrises are absolutely unbeatable.   

Every year, Connie is drawn to come back and work at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. If you stop over to the Lodge, you will find yourself surrounded by the beauty of the pines, wildlife, and the coziness of our cabins. For all travelers, I would suggest listening to Connie’s advice – take a moment to wake up early and experience a Keweenaw sunrise at the top of Brockway Mountain. It is only a short drive from the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, and although the mountain can be seen from the first tee of our golf course, the view from the top of the mountain is truly captivating.    


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Last modified on September 9th, 2019 at 8:50 am