About Us

About Us"We started leasing our land in 1958 because we wanted affordable lakeshore property close to home. Since then, we've built a cabin, a sauna and a bunkhouse. Every summer, our family has lived on the lot, as we'll always do. It's a wonderful experience our children and grandchildren will never forget."

- Verna and Wes Kivisto,

Island Lake Reservoir leaseholders since 1958


As Verna and Wes can attest, ShoreLand Traditions™ has been a member of the northern Minnesota community for generations.

Around 1918, Minnesota Power's predecessor companies began to establish large reservoirs in central and northeastern Minnesota to be used in association with hydroelectric power generation. In many cases, these reservoirs quickly became recreation attractions for local anglers, swimmers, and boating enthusiasts.

During the late 1920's and 1930's, resorts catering to the public began to be established throughout these reservoir lakes. The resort owners leased the land from the power company and set-up shop on the lakeshores of Island Lake, Fish Lake, Whiteface, Wild Rice Lake and Boulder Lake Reservoirs, near Duluth; as well as the Gull River Flowage & the Crow Wing River, near Brainerd.

About this same time, local residents from adjacent towns and cities began to request leases along the shores of these reservoirs from the power company. They used these leases to set up cabins along the lakeshore of the reservoirs and other nearby waterfront properties. At that time, leases were established on a first-come, first serve basis. The prospective leaseholder stopped into the power company office and were handed wood lathe and were told to post them in the trees of their lease lots 200 feet apart, creating roughly one-acre lots.

During the 1950's and 1960's a surge of interest, and the growth of post-World War II families in the area, established the majority of the present-day lots along the reservoir lakes. Most of these lots are still in the same family names today, passed on from one generation to the next.

Beginning in 1980 and continuing up to the present, Minnesota Power has offered new leases on select  undeveloped  shoreline areas. These new lots are issued through a bidding process on a periodic basis. Contact our office if you want to receive an information packet at 1-888-526-3648 or (218) 723-3981. Existing lots are also offered by the leaseholders themselves or by local realtors. The current offering of new lots and existing lots for sale are also shown in the Real Estate Listing.

ShoreLand Values   (top)

An investment into ShoreLand Traditions™ is an investment in premiere, managed lakeshore property. Minnesota Power's continued management of the property for the past seventy years has established substantial values not  found in private property ownership.

Economically, your investment in a ShoreLand Traditions™ property assures real estate values equal to privately held lots. In fact, county appraisers have found no difference in value between leased properties versus private properties. An investment in a ShoreLand Traditions™ property, therefore, is a sound financial value. For example, most leaseholders who either had existing lots or received new lots in our bidding process as recently as the 1980's have seen their real estate investments' value rise nearly 300 percent.

Stability of ShoreLand Traditions™ is inherent in the security of Minnesota Power's long-standing commitment to hydroelectric power generation.

Services provided by ShoreLand Traditions™ are values you would not find in privately held property. Our professional staff is highly educated and trained for functions which vary from complex real estate transactions to guiding you through the forest of permitting and regulatory processes for your lot development planning.

With Minnesota Power as residing manager, ShoreLand Traditions™ leaseholders possess the value of the company's ability to manage its real estate for greater use, protections, and flexibility than private property ownership.  Since the company owns the land under and surrounding the properties, in many cases,  lot lines can be more easily adjusted to suit your building needs, including lot line extensions. By having a residing manager of the properties, leaseholders take comfort in knowing Minnesota Power is able to resolve neighboring conflicts, if the need arises.

Minnesota Power also looks-out for the leaseholder's interest by establishing environmental provisions which are tailor-made for their lakeshore properties. In so doing, leaseholders are assured their value in ShoreLand Traditions™ is protected from environmental hazards like a neighbor's failing septic system, or aesthetically unpleasing construction practices which could occur around their lakeshores.

Recreation opportunities in the ShoreLand Traditions™ community are brought to you by Minnesota Power and other private businesses. The Boulder Lake Management Area (BLMA) is a prime example of Minnesota Power's commitment to establishing and managing quality recreation opportunities for the community of lakeshore residents. Other boat launches, picnic areas, and shorefishing sites are also located throughout the lakeshore areas.

Communications of key information is delivered to leaseholders about such things as reservoir water flow information, new laws and regulations affecting their enjoyment of the properties, upcoming changes in tax and rent calculations, and upcoming events and opportunities for recreation in the area.

The end-result of all these ShoreLand Traditions™ values is the establishment of a long-standing, special community tradition - a relationship in which other  private property owners are not able to fully share.
Birch Trees

ShoreLand Provisions      (top)

The integrity of ShoreLand Traditions™ is maintained by the continued diligence of its staff to ensure that leaseholders' investments in the property are maintained and strengthened by the establishment of provisions which target the continued protection of the environment and simple enjoyment of the lakeshore community.

Environmental provisions of the lease protect against failure of septic systems, leaching fields, wells and privies.

Personal enjoyment provisions in the lease recognize the unique nature of shoreline living. These provisions attribute personal responsibility for uses of the property and activities which may adversely affect their neighbors' pleasure and quiet enjoyment of their own lease property.

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of our lease agreement, please E-mail Us or contact us at 1-888-526-3648.

How To Obtain A ShoreLand Traditions™ Property    (top)

There are two ways to obtain a ShoreLand Traditions™ property: either as a new undeveloped lot through Minnesota Power's public offering; or by obtaining an established lot from someone selling their property through the standard real estate market.

New lots, (undeveloped lots) are offered on an annual basis through a public offering. Information packets of the lots being offered are mailed out at your request or through our mailing database.  Leases will be awarded on an individual basis through a public offering process. Applicants will submit an offer to lease any of the lots that are available at the time. This offer is a one-time cash payment due upon issuance of the lease. This payment is in addition to the annual lease fee. Also, an additional one-time payment of $250 may be required for road charges associated with existing lease access roads. The individual fact sheets for each lot indicate whether this fee is charged. If you are interested in receiving the next information packet of new lease lots to be offered, E-mail Us or call 1-888-526-3648.

Existing lots are offered through the standard real estate market or are sold by the leaseholder on their own.  Information on these lots can be accessed through our Current Real Estate Listing, other Realtors On-line, local listings in real estate guides, or local newspaper publications such as the Duluth News Tribune. Minnesota Power has efficiently processed the transfer of leases from buyer to seller, and quite often this is among family members, for the past seventy years.

ShoreLand Lease Fees    (top)

The ShoreLand Traditions™ lease fees are based on the appraised market value of each lot. The fee is an annual charge which includes the taxes on the lot as well as a rent charge equal to 2.5 percent of the appraised market value of the lot. For example, an average total lease fee may be in the $1,500 per year category.

Buildings such as a cabin, house, garage or shed are taxable structures. A separate billing is sent out for any taxes owing on taxable structures on the lot, and of course will vary based on the value of the those buildings.

ShoreLand TreesShoreLand Community    (top)

The ShoreLand Traditions™ community is deeply tied to  Minnesota Power's long-standing commitment to protecting the environment. This commitment is a strongly held belief of the staff and organization and is reflected in the preservation of vast tracts of acreage and shoreline around the community.

As part of the federal licenses to operate the reservoirs in association with hydroelectric power generation, Minnesota Power committed itself to setting aside large portions of company-owned land for wildlife, aesthetics and, public recreation and environmental protection.

The Boulder Lake Management Area (BLMA) , north of Duluth, is a showcase of natural resource management and includes an Environmental Center and recreational trails. In the winter, 21 kilometers of trail are groomed for traditional cross-country skiing, and a warming shack is open during daylight hours every day. Minnesota Power's commitment to the ShoreLand Traditions™ community is widely felt with the continued management by Minnesota Power of the BLMA and other protected lands & water around the lakes area.

Public recreation facilities, provided by Minnesota Power, are scattered throughout the lakes area. Leaseholders take advantage of the conveniently placed boat launches and other family-oriented facilities.

ShoreLand Traditions™ community lease road associations, which jointly pool resources to maintain access roads to their respective properties, build camaraderie and a greater sense of community around the lakes. Each year, road association get-togethers are the social events of the season.

Local businesses, such as resorts, restaurants and convenience stores also serve to build a sense of community for ShoreLand Traditions™ leaseholders. Local restaurants serve as gathering spots for friends and families, sometimes daily and weekly for a taste of north-country cooking.