SIDNEY — It’s been over 10 years since a fire destroyed a function hall at a family-owned venue on Marigold Lane. The hall was rebuilt on the property owned by a single family for generations, but sat empty, looking over the lake at Bangs Beach. And there it sat for several years, waiting.

And now, the wait is over – with familiar faces staying put.

The Lakeside Lodge at Bangs Beach, owned and operated by the Milligan family, will officially reopen as a wedding venue in early July with an open house.

Today, the venue is run by three sisters – Mandy, Laurie and Maggi – and a brother, Dan. Mandy said her family has owned the property for eight generations. Originally, it was a farm and was all pasture land. At some point, their father opened a marina on the property, and in 2000 it was opened up as a wedding venue.

And then the venue burned down in 2005. The cause was never determined. Maggi said they had to shut down. The family considered selling, as funds didn’t seem to be available to rebuild.

But they stayed. Mandy said they all camped out on the property for that summer and fall, building a house for their parents. Maggi said her parents are nearing the age of retirement, so the siblings have taken over running the business. The goal is to have the parents retire on the property.

In addition to the house, the venue hall was rebuilt. But the structure sat empty for a number of years because the family wasn’t in a financial position to operate a business. They formed a limited liability company, and now the four are in a position where they can run the business. While the building had just been an “empty shell,” as Mandy put it, it is only within the last year that the siblings were able to do what they’ve done.

“It wasn’t financially possible then,” Maggi said of the years after the fire.

The Lakeside Lodge, an open, rustic-type building, has a seating capacity of 120. Mandy said the spacious venue is definitely filling a niche, as rustic weddings continue to grow in popularity. All three sisters had their weddings on the property, so seeing the venue open back up as a family business means a lot to them.

“It’s really special to us,” Mandy said.

Maggi recalled working at the property when the siblings were younger, staffing the snack shack on the beach or taking admission to the beach. They grew up working on the property, and that won’t change.

“It was our first jobs,” she said.

On Saturday, the siblings are hosting an open house to let anyone interested – especially engaged couples – see the property and begin thinking about the big day. They’ve largely held off on advertising the open house, save for a Facebook post, because they were still working hard to get the property and the 2,500-square-foot venue ready.

“It’s been right down to the last minute,” Mandy said.

While the Milligans know most people looking for venue space would more than likely be booking for next year, they are planning to offer specials for lovebirds looking to fly into matrimony sooner rather than later.

“We’ll try a fun summer shotgun wedding special,” Mandy said.

Colin Ellis can be contacted at 861-9253 or at:

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