Luther resident opens new business: The Carrieville Cabin

LUTHER — Luther native John "Butch" Pacola knows Lake County might not have the most bustling economy, but in a community based on outdoor tourism he believed opening up a new cabin in the area was a no-brainer.

Covering more than nine acres, his new business is called the Carrieville Cabin, and he has spent the last several months renovating the buildings and repairing the land to serve as one of the region's finest spots for visitors.

"This place was trashed when I bought it," remarked Pacola. "Chipped paint, broken furniture, junk everywhere ... we went through the house and redid everything. Then we started making sure the outdoor aspect looked good as well."

The cabin itself was repainted, new floors were installed, new furniture and appliances were bought. Now it is hardly recognizable from shabby house it had been before. There is also a fully furnished mudroom and warming room for those fresh off the trails complete with pool table and air hockey table, furniture and refrigerator. There is even a large garage for those who want to store their snowmobiles or ORVs securely indoors away from the elements. The common room has satellite television for anyone exhausted after a busy day outside.

Outside, a babbling brook trickles across the back of the property while hammocks, grills, picnic tables and chairs are available for those who want to kick back after a long day of hunting or riding.

The cabin is designed to sleep eight people, but can comfortably sleep up to 12. What Pacola says really sets his new business apart is the location.

"Right across the street is the Manistee National Forest and so is Carrieville Station for gas or food," said Pacola. "The Little Manistee River is right here for fishing and Pine River is only six miles to the north for canoeing or kayaking and it has great trout numbers during the season. Turkey and deer will wander right through the backyard if you're interested in hunting, Peacock Ltd. is just a couple miles away if your snowmobile or ORV needs work, and Club 37 and Luther are both just a couple miles down the road if you want to get something from a restaurant. Plus, we're near several hubs for trails."

The born and raised Luther native spent five years in the army in Vietnam before coming home for a successful career in logging and with a heavy equipment union.

He said said he had been considering starting a business like this since he retired off and on, when he saw a news report of county commissioner Dan Sloan on the news. Sloan was discussing the county's recent initiative to expand the county's Off Road Vehicle facilities and advertising capabilities throughout the Midwest. The news report convinced Pacola his new business had a strong chance for success.

"I was thrilled to hear about near growth in the county, especially since it partially stemmed from out ORV push," remarked Sloan. "Turning a foreclosed property into what will hopefully be a thriving business is exactly the sort or momentum I was hoping expanding our ORV presence would bring."

Pacola hopes he will be able to expand by building additional cabins on the land, and credits his children Mike and Gail for helping him get the new business up and running. He is confident about his new venture, but isn't scared if he runs into difficulties.

"Time will tell if I make it," said Pacola, laughing. "If I don't for any reason, I'll move here myself. Either way, I win."

Carrieville Cabin is now open for business. For additional information, call (231) 429-8624.