SOURCE: Fortune Bay Resort Casino

March 10, 2008 12:23 ET

Golf Minnesota Names Wilderness Golf Course '2008 Resort of the Year'

Award Recognizes First-Rate Course and Full-Service Resort, Advancing a Stunning Track Record

TOWER, MN--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - It's one thing to impress at the outset, turning heads and landing awards. It's another thing to sustain high quality, continually winning admirers and awards. That's a feat Fortune Bay's Wilderness Golf Course now can claim with confidence, thanks to Golf Minnesota's new award naming it the 2008 Resort of the Year.

Shortly after nationally renowned golf course architect Jeffrey D. Brauer unveiled The Wilderness, awards started trickling in. Golf Magazine named it Top 10 Best New Places to Play. Golf Digest named it among America's Best New Upscale Public Courses. Travel & Leisure Golf named it 10 Best New Public/Resort Courses in America.

The adjective "new" has since faded, but the adjective "best" has remained. The Wilderness' awards now bear even more weight: the ability to stand out among well-established, time-honored courses. Several months ago, Golf Digest named The Wilderness the second best casino golf course in the nation. This distinction was conferred after the Golf Digest Course Ranking Panel, a team of more than 800 low-handicap players, scoured the country's casino golf courses and winnowed their findings down to the top 40. Now Golf Minnesota has named the course 2008 Resort of the Year. "The golf course is truly designed as both a championship test for good players and a course anyone can enjoy," the magazine notes. These awards signal that something special, something serious and something long-term is at work. They beg the question: Why does this course up north keep winning awards?

The first reason is superb grounds keeping. (That's a story in itself. Come watch the award-winning crew in action this spring! You'll be enlightened.) The second reason is the course's pristine setting. Set atop high granite ridges, The Wilderness weaves its way through 7,210 yards of majestic pine forests, hugging the curving shores of Lake Vermilion. Wildlife abounds, from bald eagles to white-tailed deer, and even an occasional moose. Golfers see these animals in their natural environment and their natural interactions -- a privilege you cannot enjoy at an urban course.

"We golf to get away from it all," said The Wilderness General Manager Tom Beaudry. "There is no better place to escape than on these lush, scenic fairways."

Even if you have business to do in Tower, the golf will clear your mind and Fortune Bay will facilitate your productivity. It has a complete conference center, and every room comes with complimentary WiFi access and voicemail. In those short intervals between work and golf, there's the indoor heated pool, whirlpool, exercise room and sauna -- which taps into the third reason for The Wilderness' ongoing acclaim.

"We deliver a first-rate experience because we operate within a first-rate resort," Beaudry humbly said. "When you're part of such a diverse, award-winning team, you keep improving each other -- supporting each other, teaching each other, continually raising the bar."

Golf Minnesota noted the breadth of Fortune Bay's offerings. "In addition to the extremely impressive golf, the Fortune Bay property offers everything you would look for in a casino resort," the magazine states, noting the full-service marina, exercise room, action-packed casino and five on-site places to dine or drink. "Minnesota golfers are fortunate to have The Wilderness at Fortune Bay," the article concludes.

To hear additional commentary on today's news, visit http://www.fortunebay.com/pressroom/archives.php?id=53 for sound bites from Gregg Wires, publisher of Golf Minnesota, and Tom Beaudry, manager and golf pro at The Wilderness.

The Wilderness, located three hours north of Minneapolis in northeast Minnesota, was unveiled in 2004 by nationally renowned golf course architect Jeffrey D. Brauer. The 18-hole Wilderness has garnered multiple major awards since it opened, including Best Course You Can Play In Minnesota 2007 by Golfweek. The Wilderness is owned and operated by the Bois Forte Band of the Chippewa. More information on the Bois Forte Band and the Wilderness Golf Course is available at www.fortunebay.com.

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