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.
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 Registered Nurse.
MIKE | Partner
Mike was the owner of Lutsen Lodging Company before it merged with Cascade Vacation Rentals in 2014. 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!
SARENA | Operations Manager
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.
ANDREW | Business Development Manager
Pivot. Merriam-Webster defines Pivot as follows: “a person, thing, or factor having a major or central role, function, or effect – a key player or position. We know Andrew is not “a thing” (although there was “Thing” in the Adaams Family). Andrew is in fact as described – a key player on the CVR team having a major influence in all things CVR. Whether he is overseeing a redevelopment/building project, mentoring staff, addressing key operating statistics, and more, Andrew is our clear go-to guy with the uncanny ability to get things done.
Andrew takes that skillset and does the same for Lutsen Township where he serves as a town supervisor. Lutsen is clearly a better place because of Andrew. In his spare time you will find Andrew on the golf course at Superior National with his brother Jon, spinning tunes as local DJ aka “Beav-Star” or in the woods with his wife searching for rare and edible mushrooms.
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 also has another important job at CVR – she assigns names to all company vehicles (like Sasquatch, Lucy, Red Rooster, Minnesota Snow, Ethel, and more).
Jaye, her husband, Cody, three children, ten chickens, two dogs, and a bearded dragon 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 | 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
JULIE | Guest Services Representative
Julie was previously our Owner Relations Manager before the COVID-19 Pandemic caused some internal changes, and Julie was transitioned into the Guest Services Team. We feel this is a great fit for Julie- she’s helpful, patient, and understanding. We look forward to seeing her shine as she helps you plan your next North Shore Vacation.
Julie is a recent transplant to the North Shore. She lives in Lutsen with her husband. She also has two grown sons.
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