Big Changes at Big Cedar

In the 1980s, Johnny Morris had a dream ... a mighty big dream.

Devil’s Pool Restaurant at Big Cedar Lodge.
Big Cedar Lodge guest quarters

The nature-loving entrepreneur, founder of Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, fell in love with the crumbling remains of a once-sophisticated Ozark vacation resort, then a 50-year-old property. Morris found himself enchanted by the setting, the breathtaking views and the property’s access to the many natural treasures of the Big Cedar Lodge.

Soon after the purchase, Morris rolled up his sleeves and went to work designing a nature-lover’s paradise, paying attention to the preservation of the original design and precious surroundings of the majestic setting. Morris’ masterpiece evolved over the past 30 years and grew far beyond the original vision.

Today, the Big Cedar Lodge complex sits tucked away in the Ozark Mountains on the shores of the bass-filled Table Rock Lake. The resort has all the amenities to create memory-making vacations for families who love the great outdoors.

This year the lodge has seen unprecedented changes, further enhancing the charm of this beloved summer getaway and leading to recognition by Travel + Leisure Magazine, which dubbed it one of our nation’s best places for a family vacation, saying “it’s fast becoming a national treasure.”

Eighty-six private cabins at Big Cedar Lodge have been renovated. Each features a wood-burning fireplace and western-themed, knotty pine interiors with all the rustic elegance of a bygone era.

The renovated Governor’s Suite is spacious enough for large families, with 2,500 square feet of luxurious space that features an oversized living area, four bedrooms, a full kitchen, jetted tubs and a spectacular view.

In May, Big Cedar Lodge introduced wellness programming, including the popular paddleboard yoga, where guests are invited to find balance on a board drifting on a shimmering private marina. Also popular are yoga hikes, which take a winding path through the complex and involve stretching and toning along the way.

Just introduced this year, a new kids’ adventure club invites children to make a deeper connection with nature in an outdoor program featuring three-hour sessions with action-packed games, nutritious snacks and learning experiences promoting environmental awareness. Kids receive a backpack filled with adventure tools and a hat to collect adventure pins for activities including BB gun safety and training, camping, tent-making, fire-building, fishing, rocks and fossils, stargazing, canoeing, and plant and animal identification.

For a special evening lake cruise, climb aboard Lady Liberty, a brand new 62-foot luxury boat, also introduced to the complex this year.

The distinctive yacht has a beautifully-appointed main cabin decorated in nautical blue and white, a unique fantail veranda, and a spacious, open-air upper deck. Holding up to 49 guests comfortably, Lady Liberty is available for private celebrations as well as corporate and group events.