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Savage River Lodge

Savage River Lodge 1
1600 Mt. Aetna Road
Frostburg, MD
Sustainability Project
Total Project Cost
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The Progress Fund was “very helpful and walked us through the process of funding, going above and beyond to make it come together.

- Janis M. Russell, co-owner, Savage River Lodge


Running a resort came naturally to Jan Russell and Mike Dreisbach. She’d consulted for hotels, he’d been involved in the power generation industry, and both saw mother nature as the ideal management guru. When the couple built Savage River Lodge and its 18 cabins, they installed bio mass heating and converted cooking oil to fuel. Out of reach, financially, was their dream of a solar electric system. “The banking institutions are very conservative and didn’t understand the magnitude of a project like this as it relates to our daily cash flow,” says Jan.


Fortunately, The Progress Fund’s work spurring development along the Great Allegheny Passage led it to Frostburg. Although the solar electric system would be expensive, The Progress Fund realized that it would pay for itself in five years, improving Savage River Lodge’s bottom line. The Progress Fund loaned $347,500, most of the capital needed to go solar, and later provided an additional $21,500 to enable them to buy and install a Point of Sale System.


The solar electric system will produce the energy the resort needs, plus allow Mike and Jan to tap Solar Renewable Energy Credits. Energy efficiency will make Savage River Lodge even more of a draw, securing jobs for its 25 to 30 employees and turning a place of harmony into an even more powerful economic generator.

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