The Lombardi Farmhouse: A legendary stay
By Heather Graves
GREEN BAY – Four avid Wisconsin sports fans, who say they are always looking for their next adventure, recently combined their love of the Green and Gold and their desire to give those who visit Titletown a unique and memorable experience – opening The Lombardi Farmhouse – catapulting themselves into the rental house industry.
“We believe the farmhouse is unlike most short-term rentals in the area,” Lindsey Ruzek, one-fourth of the farmhouse crew, said. “Our goal is to not only provide a great gameday experience for NFL fans and visitors from all over the world, but also a home away from home for Green Bay visitors all year long.”
The brainchild of Ruzek, her husband, Mike, her twin sister Dana Schmidt and her soon-to-be husband Eric Wall, The Lombardi Farmhouse property is equally-owned by the four investors.
Though the topic occasionally came up in passing conversations, the steps that led to the farmhouse’s opening happened rather quickly.
“Leading up to Labor Day weekend 2021, there had been some small chatter about investing in a property that we could potentially use as a short-term rental,” Ruzek said. “Fast forward a whopping two days to Sunday of that weekend, and we found ourselves on Zillow looking for properties.”
Ruzek said finding the right property was an adventure in itself.
“We put in an offer a few days later on a property that needed a ton of work, but we were confident we could tackle the project,” she said. “After about a week we hadn’t heard back on our offer so we decided to continue our search and that we did. We eventually went to see a second property and immediately knew we had to rescind our other offer and go all in on the second property.”
Ruzek said it was a mad rush to get all their ducks in a row, having to put in an offer in less than a day – but the crazed few hours was worth it in the end.
“Fortunately, we were given the good news hours later that our offer was accepted on what was to become The Lombardi Farmhouse,” she said.
After closing on the property in mid-October 2021, Ruzek said for the next few weeks, all free time outside of their full-time jobs was filled with renovations in hopes of being able to welcome guests during the 2021-22 NFL season.
“We hosted a kickoff party for the Packers vs Seahawks game on Nov. 14, 2021 for our closest friends to show off our hard work,” she said. “Our first renters arrived just two weeks later for the next home game on Nov. 28, 2021, and we haven’t slowed down since.”
Ruzek said part of what sets The Lombardi Farmhouse apart from other area short-term rentals is its focus on varying clientele.
“The majority of short-term rentals in the area are focused on catering to NFL fans, which we must say they are absolutely incredible at; however, we have widened our focus to create a comfortable and cozy space for a wide variety of visitors,” she said. “We have hosted guests coming for Green Bay Packer games, concerts, weddings, conventions, family vacations and beyond.”
To protect The Lombardi Farmhouse’s guests, Ruzek wouldn’t reveal its exact location, but said the home is a ten-minute walk to Lambeau Field and a five-minute walk to the Stadium District.
Ruzek said the property’s amenities cater to a wide range of guests.
“The Lombardi Farmhouse is your home away from home,” she said. “The spacious kitchen and dining room is perfect for entertaining and has everything guests would need, whether it’s cooking a meal or ordering in. The property has a partially-finished basement complete with a bar and plenty of seating. The bright and cozy upstairs living room is a great space to spend time in between plans. We are big fans of the fenced in backyard which is perfect for visitors traveling with their pets. The spacious deck includes outdoor furniture if guests want to enjoy a cookout or a cup of coffee in the morning. We feel the house can accommodate a large range of travel purposes.”
Ruzek said it’s no surprise that with its close proximity to Lambeau – the house does boost a Packer theme, but has a sophisticated feel.
“It’s no secret the Lombardi name is a legendary one, so we knew we wanted to tie that in with our property,” she said. “However, we didn’t want to base our interior design and décor strictly off of the Green and Gold, as it is our goal to create a space for all visitors, not just Packers fans.”
Ruzek said the Lombardi name is special not just in Green Bay, but across the sports world in general.
“With this being our first house, we felt like we should channel our inner Lombardi and start to create our own legacy,” she said.
Ruzek said while the overall theme hints Packers – it isn’t overwhelming, as they know some of their guests may not be Packers fans per se, but can appreciate the nod to the Lombardi legacy.
“When staying at the property, our visitors will be surrounded by intentional décor,” she said. “They won’t be greeted with the classic Green and Gold décor in each room.”
Instead, Ruzek said the property channels many of Lombardi’s characteristics.
“Guests will be surrounded by bold, but subtle, touches of the legend himself,” she said. “Outside of the Lombardi feature wall that will stun visitors upon entering the farmhouse, you will notice that we’ve channeled more of Lombardi’s characteristics instead. More specifically, the characteristics of putting in hard work to create an environment where people from all over can come together to create memories and to be absolutely legendary.”
Ruzek said when the tight-knit quartet created the farmhouse and its policies, they intentionally thought about what they love most about the accommodations they experienced when traveling by themselves.
“We believe that the craze behind the short-term rental home industry is simple – it’s to be able to feel welcome anywhere,” she said. “Green Bay, specifically the Stadium District, is such a unique experience, and we see a lot of people traveling in groups. Having a property with all of the amenities of their own home is something people really look for and love. Why stay at a hotel when you can have a whole house, fire up the grill and have a tailgate prior to a Packers game?”
Ruzek said there is no shortage of places to stay in the area, and the little touches they put into The Lombardi Farmhouse is what sets them apart.
“Our attention to detail for each guest and making it our No. 1 priority to ensure that each guest feels welcome, noticed, appreciated and valued,” she said.
Ruzek said this focus on detail gives them a unique way to interact with their guests.
“Though we aren’t actually there hosting them, we want them to enjoy every aspect of their experience,” she said. “When someone books a stay, we immediately reach out to thank the potential guest and ask if there is anything specific we can assist them with. We seek out their reason for travel so that we can leave a customized gift or welcome basket as a small token of gratitude for choosing to stay with us.”
Ruzek said as part of the customized welcome gifts, they make sure to include as many local favorites to support local breweries, stores, bars and restaurants.
“As residents here, we understand the importance of shopping local,” she said. “We focus on cultivating a unique and customized experience from the minute visitors book with us to the minute they leave and even beyond.”
More information on The Lombardi Farmhouse can be found on Facebook.