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DIFFERENCE MAKER: Devastating fire doesn’t stop Trillium Lodge

The Trillium Lodge

The Trillium Lodge stood for 15 years in the village of Cherry Creek serving the community and especially snowmobilers and bikers in the region … that was until it burned down May 1, 2017.

The fire took approximately 100 firefighters from 14 area companies to put out late that afternoon, and there was some stress as the location was close to NOCO Energy.

Cherry Creek Fire Department Chief Terry Sheldon had said it was a big loss for the community and that you could see the sadness on everyone’s faces. The Trillium was a hub of activity and it became so again.

The owner, Deb Bernard, who was away in Seattle, Washington when the fire happened, began rebuilding the restaurant soon after it was destroyed. She, along with Bill Young, Cherry Creek town supervisor; Bruce Hendricks, acting Cherry Creek mayor; and John Kuzdale, attorney representing Bernard, approached the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency’s Board of Directors on Aug. 11, 2017 and received unanimously approved tax breaks to continue construction.

Though Bernard had hoped to have the establishment open by Thanksgiving of 2017 it took until early 2018 for the doors to open. The area was happy.

From the ashes, with the help of a whole community behind her, Cherry Creek’s lost establishment was able to rise again– and in less than a year.

“It’s been amazing… truly amazing,” Bernard said. “The amount of support has been overwhelming to me.”

Because of their rebuilding efforts, the OBSERVER has named the Trillium Lodge one of this year’s Difference Makers in development.

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