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Wild Rice Retreat expanding, begins construction

CREDIT: Wild Rice Retreat

BAYFIELD, WI-- The first all-inclusive wellness retreat center in the Midwest is expanding its grounds.

Wild Rice Retreat offers a sanctuary for those looking for an escape from the hustle of everyday life.

Guests stay in pods, which are like vacation tiny homes.

Tuesday, the center, deep in the woods of Bayfield, Wisconsin announced its expansion through a virtual ground-blessing ceremony.

Wild Rice Retreat is one of the thousands of businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus crisis.

"We've had to cancel our own retreats this year for May, June, and July," said Heidi Zimmer, Owner and Founder of Wild Rice Retreat.

But Tuesday afternoon, a virtual ceremony with a message of hope from the center.

Zimmer said, "Beginning of construction for the expansion of Wild Rice Retreat."

A $10.4 million project on 114 acres of land along Lake Superior.

"In addition to our main building where we've been housing retreats for the last two years, we're going to have three different lodging types available come fall, and then it will all be finished next spring," said the owner.

The center allows for social distancing and self-isolation at a time where those practices are highly encouraged.

"We were thinking that at the time when we planned it but of course that's naturally what happens here," Zimmer added.

Rice Pods, Nests, and Treehouses are just a few of 21 soon to be added amenities. "Sauna building, and a meditation garden, and a labyrinth, and an expanded trail system."

Creating a space for grounding the mind, body, and spirit, while blending arts and creativity with health and wellness practices.

Zimmer said, "I think what this time has taught us is really we need more of that in the world for our health and well-being.

Retreat leaders are working on opening up their registration system.

Some special guests spoke during Tuesday ground-blessing.

Those include Brian Goodwin of Red Cliff who performed a Native Blessing, State Sen. Janet Bewley, and Wisconsin State Rep. Beth Meyers.

You can find more information on the retreat here.

Jessie Slater

Evening Anchor and Reporter

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