Grand Portage Lodge & Casino Announces Reopening Plans

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino firepit outside the Island Dining Room

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino Announces Reopening Plans

Grand Portage, MN, June 3, 2020: At Grand Portage Lodge & Casino, the health and safety of our guests,
employees and community is our highest priority. Our recent closure has been in close alignment with the
COVID-19 response from Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization and Minnesota
health departments. We are now planning the phased reopening of our property, with a tentative reopening date of Monday, June 22, 2020.

As we plan the gradual process of reopening our economy and returning employees to work, we have taken
measures to combat the potential impact on our resort and facilities.

We will continue to monitor the situation. As it evolves, our reopening date could change, based upon external
factors, such as the planned June 21 reopening of the US/Canadian border.

“We have missed hosting our guests and we look forward to when we can begin creating new memories
together”, said Beth Drost, RTC Chairwoman. “Things will be a little different when we reopen, with new
measures in place to ensure that our guests and employees remain safe.”

In addition to our usual high standards of cleanliness, during the closure, the property has been thoroughly deep-cleaned and sanitized, and enhanced health and safety plans have been developed with guidance from public health officials. Upon returning, guests can expect additional new safety procedures and protocols. For complete details, please visit grandportage.com.

As our guests may be looking for flexibility when they make their travel plans, please know that you will be
able to cancel or rebook your reservation prior to arrival until noon the day of check-in without charge. This
way, you can plan your visit with confidence and peace of mind. We want all of our guests to feel comfortable
and confident in planning and coming to enjoy our accommodations, casino and restaurant.

We will continue to work closely with local and national health officials to keep our guests and employees safe.
Please feel confident that we’re doing all we can to provide a healthy environment so that you can enjoy your
stay with us.

Thank you for allowing us to be your lodge and casino of choice. For more information, please visit
grandportage.com or call 800-543-1384.

About Grand Portage Lodge & Casino
Owned and operated by the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Grand Portage Lodge & Casino
has served as the premier hospitality destination on the pristine north shore of Minnesota for over 30 years.
The property consists of 95 elegantly renovated rooms and suites, a 12,000 square foot casino, Island View
Dining Room, Antlers Lounge, Event Center, Trading Post, Car Wash, Marina and RV Park. It also serves as a
home base for the cabins at nearby sister property, Hollow Rock Resort. For more information, visit
grandportage.com or call 800-543-1384.

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Contact: Todd Ford / Marketing Director / tford@grandportage.com / 218-475-2933

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino has the most epic firepit with a view

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino has the most epic firepit with a view

 

Newly renovated lobby at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

Newly renovated lobby at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

 

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino Front Entrance

Grand Portage Lodge & Casino Front Entrance

Photo: Newly renovated Grand Portage Casino

Newly renovated Grand Portage Casino

Photo: Rooms at Grand Portage Lodge

Newly renovated rooms at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino

For only the second time in it’s 90 year history, the Fisherman’s Picnic in Grand Marais, Minn. has been cancelled.

Fisherman's Picnic 2017

Event organizers in Cook County, Minn. are reinventing what event participation looks like during the time of Covid-19.

The Grand Marais Lion's Club organizes the Fisherman's Picnic in Grand Marais MN

The Grand Marais Lion’s Club organizes the Fisherman’s Picnic in Grand Marais MN

Grand Marais, Minn. (May 14, 2020) – For over 90 years, the Fisherman’s Picnic in Grand Marais, Minn. held annually the first weekend in August has been canceled this year. The only other time Fisherman’s Picnic was canceled in its long history was during WWII. A marquee event weekend, visitors from around the country choose to plan their trip to the North Shore and Gunflint Trail around this annual event to celebrate the heritage and spirit of the community.

Like many communities, major events are struggling to find a way to continue amidst the COVID-19 crisis. “Events are an essential part of our brand,” says Linda Jurek, Executive Director of Visit Cook County. “While we’re primarily known for our outdoor recreational activities, our local event organizers really put on some spectacular events throughout the year that will really be missed this summer.”

However, in the spirit of small town ingenuity, event organizers in Cook County, Minn. have been working hard to reimagine events amidst the Covid-19 crisis.

Lutsen 99er Launches Lone Wolf Challenge 

Lutsen 99er is a family sport - by Visit Cook CountyOrganizers of the Lutsen 99er, a world-class mountain bike competition featuring distances of 25, 49, 69 and 99 miles, is launching a virtual event aptly named the Lutsen 99er Lone Wolf Challenge in place of the cancelled traditional event. “We started the 99er in 2011 because we wanted to showcase the quality of the terrain that exists in this area,” says Peter Spencer, Race Director for the Lutsen 99er. Over the past 10 years, the Lutsen 99er participation has grown from about 100 riders to over 1,800 riders and their families.

“The Lutsen 99er participants are like family and while this year’s event will be missing the physical camaraderie of the event weekend, biking is by nature an individual sport so why not still come up and test your mettle at your own pace?” asks Spencer. GPS directions will be sent out to all registered Lutsen 99er participants for any of the course distances to ride between June 5th – July 12 of this year. Those who complete the challenge will be awarded a limited edition commemorative gift from Wolf Tooth Components. Learn more: lutsen99er.com.

North House Folk School’s Wooden Boat Show & Solstice Celebration

Wooden Boat Show at North House Folk School in Grand Marais - Visit Cook County (1)At North House Folk School in Grand Marais, event organizers are preparing to launch a virtual edition of their famed Wooden Boat Show and Solstice Celebration through a week of live craft demonstrations, evening webinars and hands-on(line) courses. North House will be bringing the event weekend to life through video boat tours and behind-the-scenes wooden boat projects from around the country.

Embrace the Slow TV movementHjordisthe beloved schooner of the North Shore has over-wintered in Knife River, Minn. Join her and her socially distant crew for (part-of) the 14-hour journey home. It’s the nautical equivalent to the televised yule-log…only without even the suggestion of warmth.

The event kicks off at noon CST on Monday, June 15 on Facebook Live, and will continue all week with the full slate of speakers, demonstrations and more available. All content will be available on demand Saturday, June 20 at northhouse.org.

Boundary Waters Expo on the Gunflint Trail

Boundary Waters ExpoBoundary waters canoe area enthusiasts have come to look forward to this gathering of canoe experts every year since 2015. This year, event organizer Quinn McCloughan of Bearskin Lodge & Outfitters is preparing to host the presentations via live stream on their YouTube channel. Combined, these wilderness experts have several decades of experience and stories to share. More information will be posted as available at http://www.bwcaexpo.com/.

 

Find information about more Cook County Minn. events at visitcookcounty.com/events 

 

 

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Press Release: In a time of crisis, Businesses and Community Rally Together in Cook County, MN

Press Release: In a time of crisis, Businesses and Community Rally Together in Cook County, MN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

In Cook County, Minnesota, Businesses and Community Rally Together Amidst Crisis

Despite COVID-19 shutdowns and a devastating fire, local business owners and residents throughout Cook County look to each other for inspiration, creativity and strength.

April 17, 2020 – Cook County, Minn. In the wake of a fire that devastated three prominent businesses in Grand Marais, the communities in Cook County are coming together, staying positive and finding creative ways to keep the area’s tourism industry engaged during the state-mandated COVID-19 shutdown.      

“We are staying strong,” said Linda Jurek, Visit Cook County Executive Director. “Our communities are mourning the loss of the Crooked Spoon Cafe, Picnic & Pine, and White Pine North, but we will weather this storm together. Above all, we’re grateful that nobody was hurt, that our volunteer firefighters were able to contain the fire, and that we have the fortitude to rebuild.”

While the ashes were still smoldering, two local business leaders started a GoFundMe account to support the businesses who lost their livelihood in the fire. In the first 24 hours, over $25,000 had been raised. Donations are still being welcomed and appreciated. For more information, visit the GoFundMe page.

Known as a destination for artists, creatives and adventurers alike, spring is a welcoming and joyful time in Minnesota’s arrowhead region. This year, however, the awakening of spring is quieter, acknowledged by residents as they pull together to support their local business community in the wake of Monday’s fire in Grand Marais and the absence of the area’s usual booming population of visitors from near and far.

The city’s firefighters are all volunteers. It took volunteers from four different fire departments to combat the fire. Many left their day jobs to step in and fight the fire, only to return later that evening when gusting winds caused the fire to reignite. They returned to work the next morning, too, because that’s the mentality in Cook County. You do your part for your community and your family, and then you do some more. 

Without springtime visitors, the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, Grand Portage and the Gunflint Trail are oddly quiet, but certainly not dormant. Residents are practicing social distancing while remaining friendly and lending a helping hand to those in need. Many are volunteering their newfound extra time and doing what they can to stay engaged and support their community. 

“It’s been amazing to see everyone come together this spring,” continued Jurek. “In a small and tight-knit region like Cook County, survival depends on sticking together. We’re adjusting the way we do things to adapt to this new normal, and we anxiously await the day we can welcome visitors once again.”

In the meantime, Cook County is staying innovative to keep residents safe, sustain local businesses and engage visitors from afar.

North House Folk School – Crafting in Place

During this time of uncertainty, craft can be calming, inspiring, and sustaining. North House Folk School is offering online craft experiences and connections from afar. From wool mending to sailing, woodworking to starting seedlings, these fun and informative craft video tutorials were designed to inspire creativity and self-expression while we shelter in place. Sign up for the North House Folk School e-Newsletter and follow on Instagram and Facebook for one-of-a-kind tutorials from artisans

Grocery Pickup and Delivery

Nobody could have foreseen that a regular trip to the grocery store could get so complicated, but that hasn’t slowed down the residents of Cook County. Grocery stores throughout the region quickly adapted to accept phone orders and offer curbside pickup and delivery options, and volunteers have stepped up to help meet increasing demand. The primary goal? Maintaining food access for all in Cook County. Whole Foods Coop, Johnson’s Foods and Gene’s Foods in Grand Marais are leveraging volunteers for deliveries, and many other markets throughout the region have found success with curbside pickup. David Jansen, a volunteer, has developed a website that shares photos of grocery store shelves to help residents shop virtually.

Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground – Free Lunch for All

Chef Chris Callender and his team at Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground are offering free lunch takeaway for any who need it during this time. Local grocery stores and restaurants have donated many ingredients to help support these delicious and comforting meals available to Cook County residents who may be out of work or school during the shutdown.

Visit Cook County – Stay Connected with Cook County

During this time of social distancing and isolation, Visit Cook County had turned to technology to help keep connections to Cook County alive. With virtual meetings replacing face-to-face interactions, custom virtual backgrounds for Zoom, Skype, or other platforms bring a smile to everyone’s face. Background images for each Cook County community are available for free download on the Visit Cook County blog

Visit Cook County has also asked visitors to join together and share stories of their favorite times in Cook County on social media. Stay connected through the power of story; please share on InstagramTwitter or Facebook by using #donorthmn 

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About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

MEDIA CONTACT

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County

Phone#: 218.387.2788 ext. 101

Email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

or

Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County

Phone#: 218.387.2788 ext. 104

Email: kjersti@visitcookcounty.com

 

Picnic & Pine, Crooked Spoon and White Pine North all destroyed in the 4/13/20 fire in Grand Marais, MN

Picnic & Pine, Crooked Spoon and White Pine North all destroyed in the 4/13/20 fire in Grand Marais, MN

Press Release: North House Folk School deepens engagement while practicing social distancing through “Crafting in Place” live video instruction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

North House Folk School deepens engagement while practicing social distancing through “Crafting in Place” live video instruction

Grand Marais, Minn.(April 2, 2020) –  While many are struggling to connect with their audiences, North House Folk School is building community by offering complimentary demonstrations and tutorials with instructors online through their “Crafting in Place” video series.  

While the campus is temporarily closed and courses cancelled until May 17th due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the staff and instructors sought to find a way to connect with their students and supporters to keep the community campus feel alive and thriving during these challenging and isolating times. 

“Building a sense of community is the foundation of our organization” says Greg Wright, Executive Director of North House Folk School. “While we are unable to physically gather, relish the joy of working with our hands and both bake and break bread together at this time, we are able to continue to learn from each other and celebrate the power of community and craft in these challenging times.” 

The “Crafting in Place” series began a few weeks ago and is continuing to evolve as instructors step up to offer skills share with the North House audience. 

Examples of recent and upcoming sessions:

New video schedule announced weekly on Fridays via their free e-newsletter. You can also join the conversation by posting about what you are working on by using #stillcrafting on Instagram. Craft Kits are available for purchase through their online store and enrollment for upcoming classes is still open. 

About North House Folk School

North House Folk School is an educational non-profit whose mission is to enrich lives and build community by teaching traditional northern crafts in a student-centered learning environment that inspires the hands, the heart and the mind. Located on the harbor in Grand Marais, Minnesota, North House Folk School is rooted in the traditions of northern culture, materials, and stories. Over 400 courses are offered each year, along with seven special events and thematic weekends. Hands-on public demonstrations and sails on the schooner The Hjordis are offered seasonally. See www.northhourse.org for more information.

About Visit Cook County 

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com

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MEDIA CONTACT

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County

Phone#: 218.387.2788 ext. 101

Email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

 

Joe Beres | North House Folk School

Phone #: 218.387.9762

Email: jberes@northhouse.org

 

Still Crafting - North House Folk School

Still Crafting – North House Folk School

Kjersti Vick kjersti@visitcookcounty.com

PSA Firework Safety in Cook County MN

Tofte 4th of July Fireworks

PSA Firework Safety in Cook County MN

FROM LINDA JUREK AT VISIT COOK COUNTY

With all the news of the 20 year anniversary of the blow down, it seems appropriate to give a little reminder that downed timber and devastation from the blow down helped kindle another disaster; the Ham Lake Fire. While the natural circumstances are not the same this summer, we need to be reminded of safety precautions and the permitting requirements to use fireworks. Summer brings visitors and the July 4th Holiday brings fireworks.

Stay Safe! Some of the more common safety tips include:

  • Never re-light a ‘dud’
  • Never let children handle fireworks
  • Keep your pets inside
  • Always be attentive and avoid alcohol consumption
  • Know what is legal and what is not.

A short list of Minnesota fireworks that REQUIRE A PERMIT ARE:

  • Bottle Rockets
  • Sky Rockets
  • Roman Candles
  • Firecrackers
  • Sparklers
  • Smoke and Punk
  • Fountains
  • Missiles
  • Novelties
  • Crackle and Strobe
  • Parachutes
  • Wheels and Spinners
  • Sky Flyers
  • Display Shells
  • Aerial Items (cakes)

And of course, be respectful, especially if visiting the Gunflint Trail where folks and wildlife seek peace and quiet. For now Shari Baker, Gunflint Pines, will be getting a permit and having some fireworks over the water (safety first).

PR: Superior National Golf Course To Open Mountain 9 on April 26 Two Weekends to Golf and Alpine Ski on the Same Weekend

Press Release: For immediate release

Superior National Golf Course To Open Mountain 9 on April 26 – Two Weekends to Golf and Alpine Ski on the Same Weekend

April 22, 2019 Lutsen, Minn. – Superior National at Lutsen will open the Mountain 9 on Friday, April 26. The Mountain 9 is located adjacent to the Sawtooth Mountains and the scenic slopes of Lutsen Mountains Ski Area, and will be open daily for the season. Early season golf overlaps late season skiing at Lutsen Mountains offering two weekends to golf and ski.

According to Heath Ekstrom, course manager and PGA pro, “We are thrilled to be opening our Mountain 9 in April, especially after the amount of snow we received this winter. This also gives us the unique opportunity to golf and alpine ski on the same weekend! We are continuing to evaluate the conditions on the new Premier 18 (the River and Canyon nines) and will be announcing an opening date for those in the near future.”

Early season rates are available through June 16. Tee times can be made online or by calling 218-663-7195.

Please note that the opening day is subject to change according to weather and condition changes. Call ahead to confirm. https://superiornational.com/

 

# # #

 

Melissa Dressely

Owner of Do North Marketing for Superior National Golf Course

Publisher of the North Shore Explorer guide and blog

Melissa@DoNorthMarketing.com

218-370-2050

May 5 & 6, 2018 | SKI @lutsenmountains, GOLF at @superiornational AND explore WATERFALLS! The 1st annual Kite Festival will also be occurring over the Grand Marais harbor with kids kite making and big kite flying. It's going to be one fun spring weekend up north!

2019 | SKI @lutsenmountains, GOLF at @superiornational AND explore WATERFALLS! (photo credit: Visit Cook County MN)

Feb. 26 declared Norman W. Deschampe Day by Governor Tim Walz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Feb. 26 declared Norman W. Deschampe Day by Governor Tim Walz

GRAND PORTAGE, MINN. (March 4, 2019) – Governor Tim Walz declared Feb. 26, 2019, Norman W. Deschampe Day in recognition of Deschampe’s dedication to improving the lives of the people of Grand Portage through programs supporting education, health and economic development.

The proclamation also recognizes Deschampe’s contribution toward improving the understanding of traditions and customs of the Kitchi-Onigaming/Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the stewardship of natural resources essential to the culture of Chippewa. Walz actually met Deschampe in December 2018 when the governor-elect visited Grand Portage.

Feb. 26 would have been Deschampe’s 66th birthday. Tribal leader Norman Deschampe died on Feb. 9 of this year. From 1978-2016, he was a former president and vice president of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the tribal government that represents six Ojibwe bands in northern Minnesota.

Deschampe was born and raised on the Grand Portage Reservation. Norman loved his home and was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, and leader.

After attending Bemidji State University and the University of Minnesota-Duluth, he returned to Grand Portage.

He was elected to the Grand Portage Tribal Council at the age of 23 and continued in Tribal Leadership for the rest of his life serving as Tribal Chairman for a majority of his career. In total, he served on the Grand Portage Tribal Council for 45 years, 27 years of those years as Tribal Chairman. He served on numerous boards, including many years on the board of the Mash-ka-wisen Treatment Center.

According to Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County, in addition to being a tremendous community leader, Deschampe had an immense knowledge of the outdoors and was extremely generous in passing along his knowledge. He loved to take his grandchildren fishing. He took great pride in teaching his children and grandchildren how to hunt, fish, trap, and anything else that could be done outdoors.

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”. Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | 218.387.2788 | linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | With 7 great events and snow totals 50 percent ahead of last year, 2019 is a great year for snowmobiling on the Gunflint Trail near Grand Marais

Women in helmets on snowmobile hugging

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

With 7 great events and snow totals 50 percent ahead of last year, 2019 is a great year for snowmobiling on the Gunflint Trail near Grand Marais

GRAND MARAIS, MINN. (Jan. 24, 2019)  — This year, outdoor adventure seekers traveling to the North Shore and Gunflint Trail are in for a treat, because snowfall totals in the region have already surpassed previous years by over 50 percent.

It’s a good year to be a snowmobiler as Snowmobile Trails are being cleared around the clock by teams of committed volunteers.  For more information on local trail conditions visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/winter-trail-conditions/

From January to March, visitors can participate or join in the fun as spectators at any of the upcoming snowmobile and fishing events throughout Cook County. A crowd favorite for many years are the many “Drag Races” which are timed heats with radar guns.

 Saturday, Jan. 26        Skyport Lodge Drag Races at Devil Track Lake  – https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/devil-track-snowmobile-drag-races/

Saturday, Feb. 2         Annual Snowmobile Fun Run on Gunflint Trail- https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/snowmobile-fun-run/

Saturday, Feb. 9         16th Annual Snowarama at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino – https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/snowarama-at-grand-portage-lodge-and-casino/

Saturday, Feb. 16       Hungry Jack Drag Races at Hungry Jack Lodge – https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/hungry-jack-drag-races/

Saturday, Mar. 2        Annual Trout Derby Hosted by the Cook County Ridge Riders https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/annual-trout-derby/

Saturday, Mar. 9        Poplar Haus Drag Races at Poplar Lake https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/drag-races-at-poplar-lake/

Friday, Apr. 27 – Saturday, Apr. 28       Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge- https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/midwest-extreme-snowmobile-challenge/

 

The Midwest Extreme Snowmobile Challenge is the best end to any snowmobile season. A two-day event at Lutsen Mountains and your chance to feel like a pro rider. Organized by COR Powersports, entrants in the Hillclimb will face the steepest course in the Midwest. The top 3 riders of this event will earn spots at the Jackson Hole World Championship Hillclimbs. This is an event not to be missed. More information on registration and lodging can be viewed here:

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/midwest-extreme-snowmobile-challenge/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Women in helmets on snowmobile hugging

 

Lynn Nelson | LINPR phone# 612-990-0126 email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com //// Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County MN phone# 218-387-2788 email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | Snowfall on the North Shore & Gunflint Trail is 50 percent greater than last year at this time

Snowfall on the North Shore & Gunflint Trail is 50 percent greater than last year at this time

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Snowfall on the North Shore & Gunflint Trail is 50 percent greater than last year at this time

 GRAND MARAIS, MINN. (Jan. 10, 2019) – While most of the state of Minnesota is in a snow drought, the North Shore and Gunflint Trail is experiencing an abundance of early snow with totals to date an average of 50 percent greater than previous years.

Snow totals to date as compared to last year at this time (Oct. – Jan. 10):

                                                2017/18          2018/19          % increase

Lutsen Mountains:                  39”                  59.5”               +52%

Central Gunflint Trail:           25.25”             68.53”             +85%

Upper Gunflint Trail:               33.5”               42”                  +25%

With more snow forecast for this week, the conditions are only expected to get better. The average winter season receives about 91.5” of snow, with the snowiest months of February and March yet to come.

“We are seeing a significant increase in website traffic,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “Being the #1 source for local ski and snowmobile trail conditions, visitors are looking to us to find the most comprehensive condition reports, so they can make the most out of their vacation.”

On the cross-country and snowmobile trails, volunteers have been working around the clock to groom and clear trails for recreation. “It’s a labor of love” says Jeff Lynch, owner of Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte and member of the Sugarbush Trail Association. “I have been involved with maintaining the Sugarbush cross-country ski trails for 17 years because I love to use them. Easy access to outdoor activities is part of what makes winter great in northeastern Minnesota.”

At Lutsen Mountains, the seasonal snowmaking season is nearly complete. With a solid base of 30-60” on the primary runs and 12-20” base in side country, the conditions are nearing their prime. The alpine season extends all the way into April, and on some occasions into May.

For complete grooming and condition updates visit:

https://www.visitcookcounty.com/winter-trail-conditions/

Or contact the Visitor Center in Grand Marais to speak to an information specialist:

Visit Cook County MN

Phone: (218) 387-2524

Email: info@visitcookcounty.com

Find photos and videos of recent snowfalls:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5sw9j86nofujnlv/AAA9lkY9EOQ8e4zy3xplNyKFa?dl=0

 

 About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

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Photo: Snowfall - tailwagging 10inches fell on Jan.7 2019- credit Kjersti Vick

Snowfall – tailwagging 10inches fell on Jan.7 2019- credit Kjersti Vick

 

 

Media Stories:

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2019/01/11/north-shore-and-gunflint-trail-experiencing-50-more-snow/

https://bringmethenews.com/minnesota-weather/want-snow-theyre-buried-in-crazy-amounts-on-minnesotas-north-shore

https://www.boreal.org/2019/01/11/187342/want-snow-theyre-buried-in-crazy-amounts-on-minnesotas-north-shore?fbclid=IwAR24OE3nn0KItfG-nESZB8AKlHsE6KwRqO3PgLuHizRB7TwAtZCq4nqhC3g

MEDIA CONTACTS Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. PH# 612.990.0126 email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County PH# 218.387.2788 email: linda@visitcookcounty.com

PR | 2019 Gunflint Mail Run Results – winners of 12-dog and 8-dog races

PR | 2019 Gunflint Mail Run Results – winners of 12-dog and 8-dog races

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Winners of 12-dog and 8-dog races are in

Warm weather and close races were highlight of 2019 Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race

Participants of the 2019 Gunflint Mail Run

Cook County, Minn. – Jan. 6, 2019 — The Gunflint Mail Run kicked off the start of the dog-sled racing season in Cook County yesterday. The original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race included two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles).

The race started and finished at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).  See https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/gunflint-mail-run-sled-dog-race/ for more details.

According to race director Sarah Hamilton of Trail Center Lodge, “the weather was fantastic for the spectators. The dogs would have preferred it colder, but they did great. We are posting additional photos and videos on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun

12-dog teams

Here are the results of 2019 100-mile 12-dog race:

1.) Ryan Redington, Skagway, AK 08:26:35
2.) Ryan Anderson, Ray, Minn. 09:02:56
3.) Erin Redington, Skagway, AK 09:16:51
4.) Frank Moe, Hovland, Minn. 09:38:17
5.) Blake Freking, Finland, Minn. 09:38:21
6.) Sarah Keefer, Minneapolis, Minn. 09:50:51
7.) Ward Wallin, Two Harbors, Minn. 09:58:40
8.) Jennifer Freking, Finland, Minn. 10:29:05
9.) Dennis Tremblay, Saint-Michel-des-Saints, Que., Canada 10:32:30
10.) Mary Manning, Hovland, Minn. 10:32:49
11.) Erin Altemus, Grand Marais, Minn. 10:33:06
12.) Daman Ramaker, Fountain, Minn. 11:53:06
13.) Cindy Gallea, Wykoff, Minn. 11:53:24
14.) Lynn Dohrmann, Wykoff, Minn.
Dusty Klaven, Togo, Minn. (scratched)

8-dog teams:

1.) Martha Schouweiler, Irma, Wis. 5:39:10
2.) Joanna Oberg, Grand Marais, Minn. 5:39:12
3.) Rita Wehseler, Tofte, Minn. 5:56:03

4.) Brain Bergen, Sioux Lookout, Ont. Canada 6:10:55

5.) Andrea DeBoer, Grand Marais, Minn. 6:34:39

6.) Julia Cross, Hovland, Minn. 6:36:37

7.) Steve Peterson, Granby, Colo. 6:49:12

8.) Matt Schmidt, Grand Marais, 6:59:23

9.) Mark Flakne, Maple Lake, MN, 7:03:10

10.) Talia Martens, Brule, WI, 7:10:46

11.) Sarah Smith, Sioux Lookout, Ont. CA, 7:13:43

12.) Travis Vanderhoof, Shell Lake, WI, 7:25:45

13.) Darcy Stanley-Nord, Milaca, MN, 7:35:56

14.) Amy Flakne, Maple Lake, MN, Scratch

Next up: John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Jan. 27 – 29

The 35th John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon will run Sunday, Jan. 27 – Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. It is scheduled to start at Billy’s Bar, 3502 Tischer Road, Duluth, Minn. and end at Grand Portage Lodge and Casino, 70 Casino Drive, Grand Portage, Minn.

The John Beargrease has been shortened this year to 300 miles, but is still a qualifier for the famed “Iditarod” in Alaska and remains the longest sled dog race in the lower 48 states.  Two additional race legs are scheduled during the John Beargrease, the Beargrease 120, the most popular competitive mid-distance race in North America, and the Beargrease 40, a recreational class race.  The Beargrease 40 will end at Two Harbors, Minn. Gravel Pit on Sunday, Jan. 27, which will also the serve as an alternate marathon start location, if there are low levels of snow in Duluth, Minn.  The Beargrease 120 will end at Lutsen Mountains, 467 Ski Hill Road, Lutsen, Minn. on Monday, Jan. 28.  See https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/john-beargrease-sled-dog-marathon/ for more details.

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #donorthmn, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

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Participants of the 2019 Gunflint Mail Run

Participants of the 2019 Gunflint Mail Run

 

 

Media stories:

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sports/other/4553023-redington-wins-third-straight-gunflint-mail-run

Mushers, organizers look forward to changes in John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

http://www.netnewsledger.com/2019/01/04/gunflint-mail-run-kicks-off-dogsledding-season/

SLIDESHOW: Dozens of teams prepare for Cook County’s Gunflint Mail Run

https://www.wtip.org/2019-sled-dog-racing-season-coming-soon-cook-county

PR | Exceptional Ski Conditions in Northeastern Minnesota Winter Storm Drops 24 Inches of Snow on Lutsen Mountains

Lutsen Mountains blanketed in snow after 24" of snow falls in 24 hours - 12.28.18

Lutsen Mountains blanketed in snow after 24″ of snow falls in 24 hours – 12.28.18

Exceptional Ski Conditions in Northeastern Minnesota Winter Storm Drops 24 Inches of Snow on Lutsen Mountains

 Lutsen Mountains – December 28, 2018A winter storm that brought rain and sleet to much of Minnesota and Wisconsin was all snow and smiles for winter enthusiasts on the North Shore.  In total, 24” fell in the higher elevations at Lutsen Mountains over the past two days, fueled in part by northeast winds over Lake Superior that created ‘Lake Effect’ augmentation of the storm.

“The weather forecasters had this one on the money,” says Jim Vick, marketing director for Lutsen Mountains.  “The hour it arrived, the rate of snowfall and the hour it moved out were remarkably accurate.  The only thing missed is how the cluster of four mountains at Lutsen amplified the lake effect, exceeding their storm total forecast by 6 inches.”

The storm was well timed for the arrival of a holiday week crowd.  Lutsen’s primary terrain was 80% open, due to exceptional snowmaking weather in November and early December.  Yesterday’s snowfall adds to a three foot deep base and pushes additional terrain to completion.  Yesterday alone an additional 10 runs were added to the open list with more to follow soon.

New live webcam gives immediate view of conditions

A live web camera was installed at the summit of Eagle Mountain this fall and provides a high resolution peek at current conditions.  Along with tracking snowfall, grooming and weather, the camera has provided a spectacular archive of sunrises over Lake Superior and sunsets over the Sawtooth Mountains.  Connect to the camera at www.lutsen.com/livecam

Images from the past couple days can be found here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/k762y3y5khndvtt/AABshwURNvb81AZCEJ437pdDa?dl=0

 

About Lutsen Mountains: Lutsen Mountains is located in Lutsen, Minn., along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Four interconnected mountains, 95 runs and 1000 feet of vertical make it the largest ski resort in Mid-America.

For additional information, visit lutsen.com or follow us on Facebook

at facebook.com/LutsenMountains and on Twitter at twitter.com/lutsenmountains.

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MEDIA CONTACTS

Jim Vick | Lutsen Mountains                     Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc.

218.406.1300                                                  612.990.0126

JimVick@Lutsen.com                                  lnelson.linpr@gmail.com

Nothing but smiles on a powder day at Lutsen Mountains on 12/28/18

Nothing but smiles on a powder day at Lutsen Mountains on 12/28/18

PR | Third annual Hygge Festival to be hosted in Grand Marais Feb. 8 – 14 (pronounced hoo-gah and is Danish for cozy)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Third annual Hygge Festival to be hosted in Grand Marais Feb. 8 – 14

(pronounced hoo-gah and is Danish for cozy)

 

Cook County, Minn. – December XX, 2018 — Nowhere else can visitors experience winter beauty, adventure, relaxation and coziness, like they can in the little harbor village of Grand Marais on Lake Superior at the third annual Hygge Festival, Friday, Feb. 8 – Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.

 

Throughout the week, visitors can indulge in a classic North Shore winter vacation across the county with hygge-themed activities like dogsledding, stargazing, cross-country skiing, and fireside gatherings at well-known northern Minnesota lodges, including the Gunflint Lodge and Cascade Lodge.

 

According to Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County in Grand Marais, “hygge encourages us to embrace all of winter’s pleasures: Snowshoeing through the woods with someone special, feeling the fresh snow crunch beneath you, savoring each snowflake that lands on your eyelash, that’s hygge.”

 

The third annual festival will feature some new events, and some returning hygge favorites:

  • Fatbiking Up the River with Grand Marais Mayor, Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux
  • Card writing and knitting by the fire
  • Cross-country skiing tour at twilight
  • Fireplace tour featuring some of the most historic fireplaces in Cook County

 

  • Hygge themed menus
  • Live music, including acapella group SVEA singing Scandinavian folk songs
  • Mukluk ball at Voyageur Brewing Company with live music by Plucked Up String Band

 

For more information on the third annual hygge festival and for dates and times, please check out: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/hygge-festival/

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

 

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | linda@visitcookcounty.com | (218) 387-2788

PR | Premier Winter cycling: Third Annual Norpine Fat Bike Classic Jan.5

Premier Winter cycling: Third Annual Norpine Fat Bike Classic Jan. 5 in Lutsen, Minn.

 

Cook County, Minn. – Nove. 19, 2018 – Registration is now open for the Norpine Fat Bike Classic, Cook County’s premier winter cycling event happening Saturday, Jan. 5.  The Norpine offers riders a long 24-mile course leaving at 10 a.m. and a shorter 16-mile course leaving at 10:05 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5 starting at Superior National clubhouse located at 5731 Highway 62, Lutsen, Minn.

 

“Roll into 2019 on the shores of Lake Superior for a frosty, fun filled weekend with Friday night festivities, including beer and wine tasting,” said Peter Spencer, race director of the Norpine Fat Bike Classic.  “There’s an outdoor adventure for everyone in beautiful Cook County – dogsledding, snowshoeing, Nordic, and cross-country skiing, and of course, fat biking!!”

 

Riders will make their way across established Norpine cross-country ski trails, while passing through Cook County’s wilderness landscape on the North Coast of Lake Superior on 3.7-inch or wider tires.

 

45NRTH Post Race Party at Lutsen Resort form 1:30 – 5 p.m. includes a free BBQ, Castle Danger beverages and live music, as well as awards for the top five male and female finishers in the long and short course.

 

For more information on riding or spectating, please visit: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/norpine-fat-bike-classic/

 

Bikers and their families and fans also can enjoy the annual Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race Saturday, Jan. 5 – Sunday, Jan. 6. The Gunflint Mail Run kicks off the start of dogsledding season in Cook County, and features two races, the original event, which is a 12-dog, 100-mile race that includes two runs, approximately 50 miles each, over a two-day stretch, and an eight-dog shorter and faster race (65 miles). The race will start and finish at Trail Center Lodge, 7611 Gunflint Trail, on Poplar Lake, Grand Marais, Minn.  (For non-locals, Trail Center Lodge is approximately 30 miles up the Gunflint Trail).  See https://www.visitcookcounty.com/event/gunflint-mail-run-sled-dog-race/ for more details.

 

About Visit Cook County

Visit Cook County encompasses the northeastern Minnesota communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage, commonly referred to as “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior”.  Grand Marais, Minn., has earned several national accolades — most recently it was named USA Today’s Best Midwestern Small Town, Outside Magazine’s The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016, and Budget Travel’s 2015 Coolest Small Town in America. Rekindle your sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest or paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Discover what makes the communities of Cook County, Minn. “Naturally Unforgettable.” Connect on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitorsFacebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Learn more at www.visitcookcounty.com.

Linda Jurek | Visit Cook County | linda@visitcookcounty.com | (218) 387-2788