Case Study: The Lodge at Mauston

June 29, 2022 | More from

A successful industrialist had the vision to create a premier resort and conference center, the Lodge at Mauston, his hometown of Mauston, Wisc. WoodgeniX invested the time to fully understand his concept and provided several unique designs. After reviewing our samples, the customer chose a design, and we delivered exceptional quality and service.

The Client

The Lodge at Mauston (Logo)

The Lodge at Mauston is located in Mauston, Wisc. and approximately 30 miles away from the Wisconsin Dells. The Wisconsin Dells is a popular tourist destination. The 8,000 sq. ft. resort and event center boast a uniquely rustic Western frontier design. It features vaulted ceilings and open, wood trusses, and an impressive stone fireplace. There are 61 guest rooms with several features including walk-in showers, balconies, fireplaces, and extended-stay amenities. The hotel also features fine dining, a full-service bar, indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center. The Lodge provides upscale and exceptionally comfortable accommodations for both leisure and business travelers. The resort enables the city of Mauston to host events that bring larger groups and more business to the area. 

The Lodge first broke ground in 2018, and according to the Juneau County Star-Times. It was a legacy project for Brunner Manufacturing owner Ron Brunner. One of Brunner’s goals was to utilize local manufacturers and distributors, supporting the local community and economy. WoodgeniX was brought on to the project to design, manufacture, and outfit the hotel with all of its furnishings. We already had a long-standing relationship with Brunner through previous projects.

The Project

The Lodge has a very distinct Western frontier theme, which is unlike any other resort in the area. We were tasked with custom designing and manufacturing all of the standard room casegoods. This included headboards, desks, hospitality credenzas, wardrobe cabinets, and nightstands. We also furnished both queen and king suites.

Brunner provided photos for inspiration to conceptualize his vision for a rustic, woodsy appearance. Using our experience in the industry and unique manufacturing capabilities, our job was to figure out how the abstract vision would translate into functional furniture. To accomplish this, we built two different prototypes that met his exact design specifications. 

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The Challenge

A common occurrence on design projects such as this is to change specs after seeing a prototype of a product. This is to be anticipated as the vision comes to life, and we always work to accommodate them as possible. Another challenge we faced was finding a way to retain the look of the products while engineering them in a way that kept the overall cost down. We are not in the business of overcharging. We wanted to ensure that we provided the highest quality products within the budget outlined. 

Finally, an interesting challenge in designing and manufacturing products for the Lodge was creating the unique rough sawn furnishings. Rough sawn, also known as rough cut, is a type of distressing that occurs when the wood is cut. Typically, rough sawn furniture adheres to the original cut of wood as much as possible. The goal is to mimic the look of century-old wood. 

Most of the machinery that we have leaves a super fine, smooth finish on the products we create. When working with the products for the Lodge, we needed to determine how we could ensure the products could run through the sanding mills without removing the intended roughness and rustic aesthetic. This proved to be the most difficult part of the process because we wanted to keep the overall design but still needed to consider some safety and hygiene precautions (i.e.: removing splinters and ensuring all the pieces can be properly cleaned). 

This was a one-of-a-kind design for us, but we were able to overcome the challenges and create products that the owner was very satisfied with.   

The Results

One of the major milestones of this project was the relationship that we were able to nurture. The owner, general manager, and entire team at the Lodge are satisfied with the results and the products we were able to create. The feedback that we’ve gotten has been very positive both from the team and guests. The Lodge is a unique experience and provides a myriad of benefits to the city of Mauston. 

The real measure of success is hearing from the client how happy they are. The main goal should be to complete products that encompass the vision they had while being as practical as possible. That is our goal for every project we take on. 

“The Lodge is a unique property that wanted a custom-designed furniture solution. From concept through delivery, [WoodgeniX] proved to be exceptional. Their innovation, responsiveness, and customer service were all outstanding. For distinctive properties that require creative furniture, [WoodgeniX] is the resource you can really count on,” Lance Massey, General Manager at the Lodge, said following the completion of the project. 

The Takeaway

The owner of the Lodge was very passionate about utilizing local manufacturers and resources on this project. We were able to bring a unique, local flavor to the table and form a deeper bond with this client — which they wouldn’t have gotten from a manufacturer located in another area. We’re proud to be a Wisconsin-based manufacturer and we’re proud to have created products for the Lodge at Mauston.  

We took the time to understand the style he wanted to encompass. We were able to turn the owner’s vision into a tangible product that he really liked. It was a challenge to marry the design and functionality of the furnishings without losing their uniqueness. However, it’s not an impossible task and we were able to deliver. 

We’ve been doing this type of boutique work for over 20 years. We’ve had a long history of success with these kinds of special projects. We recognize that a lot of domestic manufacturers have moved away from this kind of work due to the cost involved, but this is a niche that we’re excited to be in and won’t retreat from. We want to do the work that others have started to abandon because there is a need for custom solutions and creations that can’t be found anywhere else.