Lakeside Inn Newsletter                                       February , 2016 
Lakeside Inn

Okay, lets try this again.  I believe I have started writing and producing a newsletter at least three or four times in the last few months.  However, each time I've started, shortly into the process I've gotten clobbered by one thing or another... and by the time I returned, the majority of the information contained within was already obsolete... so I've had to start over.  For my own sanity, I hope this time will be different. 

What a wonderful fall and Christmas Season it was.  Tons of celebrations, weddings and events - always something going on here at the Inn and in the downtown area.  On top of all that, on November 30th we celebrated our fifth year of ownership.  My-oh-my how time flies.  My sincere thanks to all that have been supportive of our efforts to restore and revitalize this venerable old Inn... and Florida's Most Historic Hotel.

Restoration continues in all areas of the property.  Week in and week out we have our share of good days when things go well and we encounter few, if any, surprises.  But we also still have those days that cause my knees to wobble.  Which in itself wouldn't be so bad if my heart weren't skipping so many beats at the same time.  When stability returns, I take a few deep breaths, organize a plan, create a materials list... and we push forward.  I keep telling myself that one day we'll actually be able to touch something up or simply paint a wall, without having to first rebuild it.  That day is coming... maybe not right away, but it will come.  

Aside from things here at the Inn, it appears that all is generally well in Mount Dora.  The fall and Christmas festivals all seemed to go off without a hitch and attracted large crowds - always a good thing.  A few new business openings have occurred in the past several months, as well as a few closings.  Nothing really out of the ordinary.  The train, the tour boats, the seaplanes and the Segways are all in full operation and will certainly remain so throughout the winter and spring seasons.  Ghost walks and ghost investigations are still part of the experience here at the Inn... as is great Jazz on Friday nights and Traditional Irish Music on Saturday nights.

If you haven't been here in a while, medically speaking, you owe it to yourself to plan a trip.  How can relaxing in a rocking chair on our Veranda, while enjoying a sunset over Lake Dora, be anything but healthy?  But just to be sure, do so with a glass of red wine - there certainly has been enough written about the health benefits of red wine to risk a chance.  Rather spa-like... without all the mud and hot rocks.  

All the best in 2016.

Jim Gunderson     

Restoration Continues...
Lakeside Inn Terrace Building
A thorough refinishing of the south side of the Terrace Building - for a second time.  Each time now it should get easier and easier.   
No one said it would be easy.  Then again, I don't know that anyone would have predicted it would be quite this difficult.  One of the more challenging aspects is simply trying to stay on schedule, as each week presents a new emergency, requiring immediate attention.  I keep trying to remind myself that while we may be taking some lumps in the individual battles, we are indeed winning the war.

Our current focus is getting through all of the guest rooms and suites the second time.  There was so much to do during the first go-around, it took us 2 1/2 years to complete.  Even with that amount of time there was still a long list of items we simply could not tackle.  I was terrified of getting bogged down to such a degree that we would never get through all of the rooms, corridors, public spaces... etc..  We are now about 80% complete on this second tour... which, when done, will have taken about a year.  Assuming all continues to go well, I expect that we will begin the third tour this spring.  Currently I am working to develop and define that scope of work, do the research, project the costs... etc..

In addition to those areas, we are also continuing with work on building exteriors, roofs, service areas, all of the mechanical equipment, furnishings, landscaping... etc..  How do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.

Music Each Week...

Every weekend you can enjoy great live music here at the Inn.

The weekend kicks off on Friday night with one of Central Florida's premier jazz bands, the Johny Carlsson Trio.  Then on Saturday night get ready to tap your toes and enjoy traditional Irish music as it was meant to be played.  Finally, on Sunday afternoons get ready to enjoy an acoustic jam of bluegrass and folk music performed by a gathering of very talented local musicians.   

It all happens in Tremain's Tavern each and every week.

** For all those that have inquired, our house pianist Robert Claffey, should be returning very shortly following a major medical procedure and current recovery period.  We all look forward to his return to the keyboards.   

By Air or By Sea...
Lakeside Inn Seaplane

Always a fun addition to a trip to Mount Dora or an overnight stay here at the Inn - a seaplane ride or spending some time on the water. 

Both Beaver Air Tours and Premier Boat Tours are based here at the Inn and depart throughout the day, offering unique and enjoyable experiences that will long be remembered.  Please visit their websites for complete information, then be sure to save time for a trip with one, or both, during your next visit to the Inn. 

Premier Boat Tour at Lakeside Inn

The Gatehouse
The Gatehouse at Lakeside Inn

Still one of my favorite spots here at the Inn.  Donna, Susan and Kris continue to do a great job in finding and showcasing some this region's most talented artists and crafts people.  What a great complement to the Inn and this historic community.  

Outdoor Spaces...
Garden Terrace at Lakeside Inn
Garden Terrace

Improvements to the landscaping continues throughout the property.  I continue to stay quiet and out of the way as much as possible.  By doing so, I am quite sure the team gets a lot more done.

They really have done a great job in creating some beautiful gardens.  I hope you take time to enjoy all of these outdoor spaces whenever visiting the Inn. 


Retreats, Reunions, Celebrations and even Meetings...
McDonald Boardroom at Lakeside Inn

In case you were wondering, yes we certainly can... and do.  In fact, what a great central location to gather for business and pleasure.  We are a relatively short drive from almost anywhere in the State of Florida.  For those coming from further away, we are only about an hour away from the Orlando International Airport.

Once here, know that altogether, we have about 5,000 square feet of indoor function space and a nice variety of outdoor venues.  There is certainly plenty for everyone to see and do, both here at the Inn and in Mount Dora.  Then again, maybe the preferred activity would be an hour or two of doing nothing at all except relaxing in a rocking chair.  

If you would like to discuss the possibilities, please give Kim Chambers a call here at the Inn.  She can be reached at (800) 556-5016, or by dropping her an email at to learn more
about how we may be able to help you plan and coordinate a future gathering.

Alexander Room at Lakeside Inn Celebration at Lakeside Inn

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Festivals & Events 

February 5th & 6th:  41st Annual Mount Dora Arts Festival
Presented by the Mount Dora Center for the Arts, this annual juried event attracts hundreds of outstanding artists from around the country, displaying and selling their works.  Visit Arts Festival for complete information. 

February 19th - 21st:    Renninger's Antiques Extravaganza   
A gathering of hundreds of antique dealers from around the country.  Visit Renninger's for more information.    

February 19th - 21st:   19th Annual Mount Dora Music Festival
Another outstanding  lineup of outstanding musicians and vocalists from around the world.  Visit Music Festival for complete information.  

March 19th & 20th:   Mount Dora Spring Collectibles & Craft Show
The downtown streets of Mount Dora will be filled with a tents village of hundreds of artisans and crafts people from throughout the Southeastern United States. Visit Spring Show for more information.

March 31st - April 3rd:   Florida Storytelling Festival
Held here at the Inn, this is a fun and engaging weekend of storytelling at its very best.  Visit 2016 Storyfest for complete information.

May 20th - 21st:   8th Annual Mount Dora Blues-n-Groove Festival
If you enjoy the Blues played by some of the best blues bands you'll find anywhere in the nation, then mark this weekend out on your calendar.  The 2016 lineup is still be finalized, but take a look at the lineup from last year.  

Mount Dora Concerts

There are simply too many to list, as each week top tier entertainment comes to our door step to perform in the Mount Dora Community Building.  Take a look for yourself by visiting Mount Dora Live

Closing Thoughts...
Lakeside Inn

FIVE YEARS... are you kidding me?!  

What an adventure it has been, with every conceivable emotion being rung out along the way.  I certainly have learned a lot on this trek, including a lot about myself.  I could probably dedicate an entire chapter to the whole self-actualization journey.  Not to worry, I won't.  However, I will say that this adventure is becoming a lot more enjoyable now that every day is not quite the white-knuckle experience of a few years ago..  

What's in store for the next five years?  I suspect a lot more of the same.  Nothing too crazy, but certainly improvements and enhancements that are needed, and are consistent with historic nature and design intent created  and developed by the original builders ... blah, blah, blah.  One thing I have definitely learned over the past five years is to NEVER use the "c" word when discussing restoration - that word is "change".  Something else I've learned is that "a week" is actually a non-specific measurement of time.  So when I hear, "it should take about a week", my mind now automatically translates that into, "it will take as long as it takes".  A game for sure, but one that sometimes helps ease the initial shock and pain.      

If I had to do over again, would I?  Absolutely!  

I think I'll have that glass of champagne now.  Cheers!  I hope to see you soon.

Jim Gunderson
Keeper of the Inn

Escape Packages

A good value for anyone looking for an easy to understand and easy to use package for a short getaway.  This 3 day / 2 night package includes a Florida King guest room, a welcome bottle of house wine or champagne, breakfast for two each morning and a one night dining credit of $50 in our Beauclaire Dining Room.

Click here to search for weekday and weekend rates and availability.  A link to this package information will be found next to Florida King Room type.  
Valentine_s Day at Lakeside Inn
Special Dining Events

We love Valentine's Day so much, we'll be celebrating it twice this year - first on Saturday the 13th... because it's Saturday, and then again on the actual day, Sunday the 14th.  A very special four course dinner, priced at $65 per person.  Reservations are recommended. 

Easter at Lakeside Inn
Easter is early this year (March 27th), so will be here before you know it.  We will be celebrating with our traditional Easter Brunch buffet.  It is priced at $39.95 for adults and reservations are a must.

Complete menus for both of these events may be viewed by clicking here .  For further information and to make reservations, please call us at (800) 556 - 5016.

Lakeside Inn | |
100 North Alexander Street
Mount Dora, FL 32757