RANIER – There’s still a layer of dust while construction continues at 2078 Spruce St. in Ranier, but the vision of Cantilever Distillery is quickly coming to life.

General Manager Ed Gackley earlier this month showed The Journal around the about 26,000-square foot building which will feature a boutique hotel, a cocktail room, private events space, and distillery tours.

“It’s going to be amazing,” he said standing in a nearly-complete hotel room.

Those behind the vision of the project said excitement is growing as reservations for the hotel’s 31 rooms are starting in January.

“We are booking more rooms then we would have ever anticipated,” said Marty Goulet, co-founder. “It is going to be very, very special. I think the whole community will be very proud. That has always been the vision.”

Aside from booking rooms, a lot is happening with the project, including activity in the distillery.

“Charlie and Zach – our distillers – are making spirits,” Goulet said. “(Earlier this month) they were making our grain-to-glass Cantilever Gin.”

More momentum

Continued progress at Cantilever adds to new lodging experiences coming to Borderland.

Last week, The Journal reported plans for The Nomad Motel, which will be located in the former Knight’s Inn building. In addition, the International Falls City Council met in special session Tuesday to consider the outcome of a variance request by the developers of an 83-bed multi-service hotel on Highway 53. Action taken during the session was not available in time for this story.

Goulet said founders of Cantilever believe in momentum, adding that project is the result of positive activity already in place.

“You can see how it is fueling other investment,” he said. “Rainy Lake Grill is thriving and re-investing in the community, there was a bidding war on the old Livingston building with entrepreneurs dreaming of the possibilities, and two new hotels are in the works for the area. More creates more. While we have created jobs and made a large direct investment, the big economic benefit is the positive momentum. People will come and that creates opportunity for everyone.”

Before even opening to the public, positive feedback on the unique project reminds those involved any challenges along the way are worthwhile.

“(This project is) something we can all be proud of and a way to showcase the best of our community,” he said. “Daily, I get citizens approach me, thankful and excited for the Cantilever to be in our community – that makes it all worth it.”

Recommended for you