White Pines Lodge may reopen June 14

MT. MORRIS – If you’ve been hankering for a meal at the White Pines Lodge, do not despair — the historic restaurant may be opening next month.

Under new management by Ortega National Parks, the lodge will reopen this year after its former concessionaire filed for bankruptcy and closed the doors last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have a tentative opening date of June 14,” Troy Derrer, general manager, said Tuesday as he worked to get the gift shop in order. “We will not be taking reservations until June 1.”

The dinner theater resumes in July. A schedule can be found at www.whitepinesinn.com.

The 90-year-old lodge also has a new phone number: 815-655-2400.

Former White Pines concessionaire Beth George ran the lodge, cabins, and dinner theater for the last 31 years. Before that, other concessionaires ran the lodge and cabins that were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources owns the facilities, which are inside White Pines State Park, on Pines Road between Oregon and Polo.

Ortega National Parks is a family-run company with seven generations of hospitality and customer service experience and nearly 25 years of operating experience as a local and national park concessionaire, its website says.

Earleen Hinton

Earleen oversees production and content of 9 community weeklies and has worked for Shaw Newspapers since 1985.