About Us

Founded in 2004 and based in Lutsen, Minnesota, Cascade Vacation Rentals is a leader in the vacation rental industry in the upper Midwest. CVR provides a wide range of vacation rental homes in Northeast Minnesota along Lake Superior’s North Shore from south of Duluth to the Canadian border and up the Gunflint Trail. With over 175 properties to choose from (75+ pet-friendly), CVR has the property, at any price point — whether you’re looking for a ski condo near Lutsen, a luxury property on the shore of Lake Superior, or an off-the-grid lake cabin in the wilderness for a weekend getaway or a week-long summer vacation.

As a locally-run company with high-touch standards, booking is easy, friendly and efficient. We believe that our customers come first and integrity and generosity are an integral part of our day-to-day operations. Nothing brings us more joy than to help our customers spend precious time enjoying life’s special moments. Together, we believe in the magic found in reconnecting with each other, ourselves, and nature.


Our Staff

Steve profile photo.

STEVE | Owner
Steve loves innovation, is motivated by fresh ways of thinking and views every opportunity as a chance to learn.  He has an uncanny way with numbers combined with the unique ability to make quick and sound decisions. Steve is dedicated to making CVR a healthy, vibrant company by empowering and encouraging his staff to fulfill their dreams and reach their fullest potential. This dedication is also manifested in Steve by him serving on the Board of Directors for the Entrepreneur Fund, North House Folk School, Grand Marais State Bank, and the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation.

In his spare time, you’ll likely find him with his wife cheering on one of their three children during a sporting event, an academic challenge event or riding his tractor amongst his goats, chickens, and dog on their farm just east of Lutsen.  Steve and his wife Kate are graduates of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and moved to Cook County in 1995.  Steve started Cascade Vacation Rentals in 2004 and Kate is the CEO of Sawtooth Mountain Clinic.

SARENA | Owner
Sarena has incredible discipline and is able to create order as she goes about her work. Her ability to focus and get something done is implausible. If she had to, we’re certain she could read insurance policies thoroughly or create accurate accounting statements while the building she’s sitting in is crumbling. She excels at looking at the full picture, noticing details and pointing out information that most people overlook.  Among many other things, Sarena is responsible for monthly owner statements, year-end 1099’s, and all things accounting for our vacation rentals and real estate.  She has also taken on additional roles as the Operations Manager.

In her spare time, Sarena enjoys spending time fishing, snowmobiling or riding four-wheelers with her husband, two adorable children, dog, and cat.

CLAIR | Owner
Clair became a co-owner of Cascade Vacation Rentals in 2021. Although she’s new to CVR, Clair is not new to the North Shore!

Clair came to the North Shore for the summer in 1990 and never looked back. Her professional experiences on the north shore include opening General Manager of Papa Charlie’s at Lutsen Mountains 1996, Human Resource Director for Lutsen Resort 2004, and General Manager of Lutsen Resort 2016; she is excited to add Co-Owner of Cascade Vacation Rentals to her resume for 2021! She believes creating strong relationships and building community are the building blocks for a successful company. Clair has invested in the community by serving on the Cook County Higher Education board since 2013 as well as the Sugarbush Trail Association board since 2016. An avid outdoorswoman, you can find Clair camping in the BWCA, hiking, paddling, biking, skiing and just enjoying all things outdoors. Clair raised 2 north shore daughters that are launched out into the world. Fun fact; her eldest daughter met her husband, who was hired as a summer intern by Clair, while all were working at Lutsen Resort. Clair has recently welcomed her first granddaughter.

MARK | Business Development Manager
Mark, a recent transplant to Tofte from Hopkins, MN, has worked in sales and marketing for a long time. He and his family have vacationed in the area for decades and is super happy to be here, When he’s not assisting owners or developing new business relationships, he likes to relax on his deck or go for a Mug Night at Voyager Bay! His dog, Barney, is his boss at home! Mark has a wife Mary, and two grown children that live in Tofte, as well!
Tami profile photo.
TAMI | Guest Services Manager
Tami navigates all things as it relates to our guests, the services CVR provides and making sure the guest experience exceeds expectations.  In addition, Tami runs our weekly level 10 staff meetings at which she is a genius.   The meetings are efficient and focused with much of her attention directed at the guest experience.
In her spare time, Tami likes to garden, work around her home, fish, hike, spend time with her family and bike (which she has a goal of doing more and more of in the coming year).

JAYE | Digital and Social Media Czaress
Managing vacation homes is managing a lot of moving parts. From guest reservations to property photographs to drone flights, live Facebook feeds and video production, podcasting and writing the guest and owner newsletters, managing the Facebook and Instagram social media accounts, Jaye has her hands in it all. She was one of the first FAA-certified and licensed drone operators in northern Minnesota. When CVR has the need for that special project, Jaye is our “go-to” staff person to get it done.

Jaye, her husband, Cody, 3 children, 16 chickens, 2 dogs, and 2 chinchillas live in Grand Marais.

CODY | Revenue Manager and Tech Guy
Cody helped with the development of Cascade Maintenance Services and created new ways for the company to analyze available data create processes to help the company function as optimally as possible.  Cody also helps develop new programs and software and is researching how CVR and CMS can better utilize new and available technology to create a more efficient workforce. Together with Steve and Jaye he makes up the division of the company lovingly referred to a “The Department of Geekery”.

Yes, Cody is Jaye’s husband.  Together they are raising their three kids and menagerie of pets in Grand Marais.

Martha profile photo.

MARTHA | Assistant to the Digital and Social Media Czaress
Martha joined the CVR team in the guest services department in 2019. She transitioned to the marketing department as Jaye’s assistant in May of 2020. Martha was raised in Duluth and is very familiar with the North Shore. Before coming to work for Cascade, Martha worked for the Duluth Area Family YMCA and the Cook County Community YMCA.

She now lives in Grand Marais

TALA | Quality Control Manager
Tala, a California native, relocated to the North Shore in 1999 after residing in the Twin Cities for 5 years. She has been part of our CVR family since 2006. Tala has held every position in our company over the years and has extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of our business and the vacation rental industry. Her current position is Quality Control / Housekeeping Manager. She enjoys the opportunities to work closely with the staff and be out in the field visiting our wide variety of vacation homes. 

Tala now lives in Grand Marais with her husband and kids.

Mike

MIKE | Lutsen Real Estate Group Broker
Mike was the owner of Lutsen Lodging Company before it merged with Cascade Vacation Rentals in 2014.  Mike has since retired from Cascade Vacation Rentals but remains on board to help out around the office and serve as the real estate broker. Mike brings a unique set of strengths to the company – he has a keen sense for when big, exciting things are about to transpire and he’s the first to notice when someone is in need of a pep talk. His matchless approach to problem-solving leads him to view issues from an angle most people don’t know exist. And, he always has a story to tell.

Like Steve, he’s deeply committed to community efforts through his volunteer work with the Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association, Superior National Golf Course, Northspan Group, the Lutsen 99er, and all things biking. So, if you swing by the office and can’t find him, there’s a good chance he’s networking within the community.  However, rain or shine, it’s equally as likely that he snuck out the back door unnoticed for an afternoon bike ride (for a quick 60 miles).

Mike and his wife moved to Lutsen in 1989.  Jana is a teacher and they have three millennial children – all who have left the roost.  Uffdah!

Let’s Socialize

Share your vacation memories with us!

#StayCVR