Miracle on the Mountain

Have the time of your life at the refreshed Mountain Lake Lodge. 

Photo by Diana Davis Creative / courtesy of Mountain Lake Lodge

The history of Mountain Lake Lodge in Pembroke dates back to stagecoach travel in the 1850s, but perhaps its most iconic moment was 1986, when Dirty Dancing was filmed there. However, by the early 2000s, the lake had dried up, the resort had fallen into disrepair, and the possibility of closing loomed.

In 2013, with new general manager Heidi Stone on board, an initiative was set forth to restore the lodge’s illustrious status. “What has really catapulted us into success is embracing the history with Dirty Dancing,” says Stone. “It’s amazing the power of film.”

In addition to extensive physical renovations, the team instituted self-guided movie tours and themed “Weekends at Kellermans” with film screenings, dance nights, and lawn games. Previously only open seasonally, the resort is now open year-round and sees more than 20,000 guests annually. Last year, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging and Travel Association named Mountain Lake Lodge as Hotel of the Year and Stone as Hotelier of the Year. “The story here is a miracle in what we were able to accomplish,” says Stone.

Upcoming Dirty Dancing-themed weekends are June 21-23, July 26-28, and Aug. 23-25. MtnLakeLodge.com


This article originally appeared in our April 2019 issue.

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