#OptOutside and Ski Free at Lutsen Mountains on Black Friday
Nov. 17, 2016 – Last year REI stores across the country eschewed the craziness of Black Friday shopping, closed their stores and encouraged employees and customers to #OptOutside. It became a movement, and 1.4 million people spent the day enjoying the outdoors. Now in its second year #OptOutside is gaining momentum, Minnesota State Parks have joined the movement with free access to all 75 parks and now Lutsen Mountains is a proud supporter offering a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov, 25.
“Skiers and snowboarders are outdoor enthusiasts, a perfect community to engage in the movement,” says Jim Vick, marketing director at Lutsen Mountains. “The ideal of #OptOutside encourages people to reflect on friends and family and what’s truly important. Outdoor experiences create memories that last a lifetime.”
Lift tickets at Lutsen Mountains will be free on Friday, Nov. 25 for all who attend. People who don’t ski can take a free gondola ride to the Summit Chalet and scenic overlooks on Moose Mountain. Guests who come for the long weekend can take advantage of Lutsen’s Half Price Holiday packages – with the Free Friday, essentially skiing three days for the price of one.
Lutsen Mountains anticipates opening for the season on Thanksgiving Day with one mountain and two – five runs. With snowmaking simultaneously occurring on three mountains, additional terrain and lifts are likely to open over the weekend. A winter storm is forecast for this Friday with good snowmaking temperatures into next week adding to the likelihood of a snowy Thanksgiving weekend on the mountain.
To participate in the #OptOutside movement, Lutsen Mountains encourages guests to visit www.rei.com/opt-outside, take the pledge, share with friends and family, and join us for a Free Ski Day on Friday, Nov. 25.
About Lutsen Mountains: Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is just a few miles from Grand Marais, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel Magazine in 2015. It’s new gondola transports visitors to the highest peak along the North Shore for unparalleled views of Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. For additional information, visit lutsen.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/LutsenMountains and on Twitter at twitter.com/lutsenmountains.
Jim Vick | Lutsen Mountains 218.406.1300 JimVick@Lutsen.com Lynn I. Nelson | LIN PR 612.990.0126 firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fourth Annual Lake Superior Storm Festival in Lutsen and Grand Marais Nov. 11-13
Cook County, Minn. – August 30, 2016 – Storm-lovers will brave the November gales at the fourth annual Lake Superior Storm Festival to witness the power and beauty of the big lake in Lutsen and Grand Marais, Friday, Nov. 11 – Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. The family-friendly festival has cool weather events, including a history lesson on transit on the Big Lake, a fashion show, wave dash, musical performances and more.
“There’s nothing quite like a November gale — wind howling, icy waves lashing the rocks, a shiver of awe running down your spine,” says Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “Whether the lake is stormy or serene, Storm Fest offers plenty of excitement and one last nature’s getaway before holiday activities begin.”
Those who have visited the North Shore during the fall months know that it requires weather-appropriate clothing, as the North Shore’s storm season can get a bit chilly. Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais is hosting “Taking Fashion by Storm”, featuring the latest fall inspired outdoor and lifestyle fashion trends on Friday, Nov. 11 at 5:30 p.m. The event is FREE, and donations for the Cook County Food Shelf (canned goods/non-perishables/money) will be accepted. Stone Harbor’s doors will remain open until 9 p.m. for post-show shopping.
Visitors sip wine and take home a painting with a stormy Lake Superior theme on Friday evening (time TBD) at the Kah-Nee-tah Gallery in Lutsen. The event will be led by local artist Kathy Fox-Weinberg.
Watch as a few brave-souls shed their fall clothes before the annual “Wave Dash”, which takes place Saturday, Nov. 12 at noon at Lutsen Resort. This quick and chilly dash into Lake Superior supports the YMCA Member Scholarship fund and rewards its participants with bragging rights, and a logo fleece beanie.
Join local historian Jim Shinners in Lutsen at the Caribou Highlands Mountain View Conference Room at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, as he speaks about the Edmund Fitzgerald and the loss of its 29 crew members during the 1975 storm that claimed it.
Peter Geye is the author of the popular book, Wintering, set in Northern Minnesota. Come join him at the Voyageur Brewing Company in Grand Marais, Saturday, Nov. 12 at 4 p.m. as he reads a stormy section of his new novel. He’ll discuss why he chose the North Shore as the setting for all three of his books. He’ll conclude with a Q & A session.
Singer and Songwriter, Timmy Haus from Northern Minn. will perform favorites from Gordon Lightfoot including “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday evening at the Moguls Grille in Lutsen. A dinner after the concert at 7 p.m. will showcase local fare from in and around Lake Superior, as well as a selection of storm related cocktails and beverages for $39 per person. There will be four courses and each course is paired with a story of a shipwreck on Lake Superior. Call 218-663-7241 ext. 4507 for more information. Reservations required.
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 “the Arrowhead” and the “North Shore of Lake Superior.” Cook County, Minn. has earned numerous accolades recently including “2015 Coolest Small Town in America” contest by Budget Travel and “The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. 2016” list by Outside Magazine. Visit Cook County invites visitors to rekindle their sense of adventure by exploring the Superior National Forest, paddling through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and discovering the Lake Superior watershed basin. Be inspired by connecting on social media using #visitcc, Twitter @CookCoVisitors, Facebook, or Instagram @donorthmn. Discover more www.visitcookcounty.com or by downloading the Visit Cook County mobile app.
Kjersti Vick Visit Cook County MN email@example.com 218-387-2788
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chik-Wauk Nature Center Grand Opening
Sunday, July 3 in Grand Marais
Cook County, Minn. – 6/9/2016 – The Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, located near the end of the Gunflint Trail National Scenic Byway in Grand Marais, Minn. is revealing a brand new nature center at the grand opening celebration on Sunday, July 3, 2016.
Visitors can enjoy FREE admission all day, along with shuttle service, refreshments, hourly presentations and kids’ activities at the event. One of the hourly presentations will be by Jacqueline Mallinson, a naturalist who is now on staff at the new nature center. Another will be by local artist Keith Morris who created an “underwater” loon sculpture, which is mounted from the ceiling so spectators can view it as if they were under water looking up. The grand opening will also feature an exhibit on bird songs titled “Heard but not Seen”, which includes an interpretive panel and audio recordings of eight types of birds found on the center grounds.
The brand new Chik-Wauk Nature Center includes:
- Six work stations with activities based on each topic: mammals, birds, plants, weather, water and insects
- Informational panels and flip books to learn about nature on the Gunflint Trail, and interactive activity bins
What | Chik-Wauk Nature Center Grand Opening
Where | Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center
28 Moose Pond Dr., Grand Marais, MN 55604
When | 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Sunday, July 3, 2016
For additional event info, please click on this link: https://www.visitcookcounty.com/entry/Nature_Center/
History of the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center tells the story of the Gunflint Trail. “Chik-Wauk” means “jack of the pines” in Ojibwe; the lodge, which houses the museum and nature center, is surrounded by tall Jack Pine trees and is located on beautiful Saganaga Lake. Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center presents the area’s cultural and natural history through interpretive and interactive exhibits. Learn about the Gunflint Trail’s prehistoric beginnings, and the people who helped shape today’s unique, rural community, including Native Americans, Voyageurs, miners, loggers, resort owners and current residents.
A network of nature trails crisscross Chik-Wauk’s 50-acre grounds. Visitors can immerse themselves in the Gunflint Trail forest with Chik-Wauk’s family-focused, naturalist program.
Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center is a partnership of the Gunflint Trail Historical Society and Superior National Forest, Gunflint Ranger District.
Chik-Wauk Museum hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., now through Oct. 23, 2016
Chik-Wauk Nature Center hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., now through Oct. 23, 2016
To view additional Chik-Wauk events, please click on the link: http://www.chikwauk.com/event.php
About Visit Cook County
Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. Last spring, Grand Marais was named the 2015 Coolest Small Town in America by Budget Travel, thanks to a social media voting contest. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesota’s tallest mountains to its greatest lakeshore. Download the Visit Cook County app in the Google Play or iTunes App store to gain quick access to the events calendar, places to eat, stay, and play right at your fingertips. Stay in touch via www.visitcookcounty.com, Twitter @CookCoVisitors or Facebook.
LYNN NELSON | LIN PR 612.990.0126 firstname.lastname@example.org KATIE KRANTZ | Visit Cook County 218.387.2788 Katie@visitcookcounty.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2016
With spring break right around the corner:
Make the most of Minnesota winter: Lutsen Mountains has plenty of snow
Lutsen, Minn. — Despite metro headlines that recommend Minnesotans “pack their parkas”, Lutsen Mountains predicts six to eight more weeks of skiing and related winter activities. “It is 15-20 degrees cooler here, which makes a huge difference in snow conditions,” says Lutsen Mountains Marketing Director Jim Vick, who is an avid skier.
“We have more snow on the mountain than ever before. With recent improvements to snowmaking infrastructure and an unprecedented commitment to snowmaking hours during prime weather, we were able to produce more base than Lutsen has ever seen. Assuming normal weather vagaries, we feel this base will carry us into May this year.
Skiing through mid-April
“Last year we tracked almost to the day with the similar temperatures in early March and we were open until April 19. We have not missed skiing into April in over 25 years. There is nothing in the 2016 forecast that suggests otherwise.”
Lutsen and surrounding communities average 15 degrees cooler than points South. Due to the ski area’s location near Lake Superior, lake-effect cooling will continue through March and April, with averages running nearly 20 degrees cooler than its land-locked neighbors. This ‘lake effect’ gives Lutsen some of the best spring ski weather in North America, says Vick, and has established Lutsen as a spring break tradition for thousands of families. Accordingly, 40 percent of Lutsen’s skier visits occur after March 1 each season.
Comparison of weather in Minneapolis versus Lutsen
Reservation Guarantee: All lutsen.com reservations come with a snow guarantee. “Our guarantee is simple…make your reservation, assured that you can expect the conditions that draw you to Lutsen: long runs and a variety of terrain. If we cannot meet our goal of 40 or more runs open, you may cancel your reservation without any obligation.”
About Lutsen Mountains:
Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is the largest ski area in the Midwest, offering four interconnected mountains, 95 runs and 820-feet of vertical, spread over 1,000 acres. Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is just a few miles from Grand Marais, named “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel Magazine in 2015 and is located next door to Superior National Golf Course, one of Minnesota’s top rated courses. It’s new gondola transports visitors to unparalleled views of Lake Superior, and the resort is nestled in the Sawtooth Mountains, boasting some of the highest elevations in Minnesota. For additional information, visit lutsen.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/LutsenMountains and on Twitter at twitter.com/lutsenmountains..
Jim Vick | Lutsen Mountains 218.406.1300 JimVick@Lutsen.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mush! 2016 Gunflint Mail Run set for Jan. 9-10
COOK COUNTY, Minn. – Dec. 29, 2015 – Thanks to generous snowfall in Cook County, the Gunflint Mail Run Sled Dog Race will take place on Saturday, Jan. 9-Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 and will feature 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 this year for the first time, the GMR will feature an eight-dog shorter and faster race (70 miles).
Mushers (and volunteers) are still being recruited for the upcoming race. Some racers to watch include:
- Leanne Bergen from Sioux Lookout, a town in northwestern Ontario, who won last year’s race.
- Mike Betz from Minnetonka has been involved in racing for eight years with previous races including the Midnight Run, Copper Dog, Ironline, TCSDR, and Apostle Islands. This is his first time running the Gunflint Mail Run.
- Chad Shouweiler and Jennifer Freking, who have both completed the notorious Iditarod, with a trail that runs from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska.
- Michael Bestgen of St. Cloud, who sells cars by day and races by night.
- Mark Luttinen who moved to Grand Marais because it’s the dog-sledding capital of the Lower 48 States.
Up to 30 mushers will start and finish the Gunflint Mail Run 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.) Here’s a link to the trail map: http://www.gunflintmail.com/map/
Where and When to Watch the Race
According to GMR Co-Director Jack Stone, owner of Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, “the best place to watch the races is Trail Center for the start at 8 a.m. on Saturday, and when they start coming back late that evening or Sunday morning.
“At the north end of the trail, we will have a spectator area at the Old Blankenberg Pit, where the 12-dog teams will be turning around. The eight-dog teams will be turning at King’s Road, which is a good place to watch, but not ideal. There are our road crossings where people can watch as the teams go by, but these crossings should be approached with caution, because the teams will be moving very quickly. Just a reminder: It’s more important than ever to obey all traffic laws and drive with extra caution during the races. “Volunteers at road crossings get the best views of the races. They will be up close and personal.”
GMR Race Co-Director Sarah Hamilton, owner of Trail Center Lodge and the founder of the wilderness food line Camp Chow, reminds people not to bring their own dogs. “Small dogs look like Scooby snacks to the race dogs,” she says. “Even larger dogs can get into trouble, since the excitement of a sled-dog race can make dogs act out. We don’t want any dogs or humans injured during the course of our races.”
Saturday, Jan. 9th
7 a.m. Blessing of the dogs
8 a.m. First 12-dog team is off!
9 a.m. First 8-dog team is off!
early afternoon – teams begin arriving back at Trail Center from first course
8-dog teams have a 3 hour mandatory layover
12-dog teams have a 5 hour mandatory layover
midafternoon – Eight-dog teams begin leaving for the second course
late afternoon – 12-dog teams begin leaving for the second course
evening – Eight-dog teams begin arriving back at Trail Center from the second course
late night – 12-dog teams begin arriving back at Trail Center from the second course
The arrivals from both the eight-dog and 12-dog races are expected to well into the morning of the 10th
Online auction goes live on Jan. 1
The total purse for both races is expected to be $6,000, depending on the success of the online auction and the raffle for the new ATV, which is on display at the Holiday Station in Grand Marais. Gifts donated for the online auction include: pictures, paintings from many local artisans and gift certificates for local businesses. The online auction will go live at Midnight on Friday, Jan. 1 and will remain active until 10 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2016. The link to the auction web site will be shared on the GMR Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/GunflintMailRun
Thanks to Generous Gunflint Mail Run Sponsors
Visit Cook County, Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply, Trail Center Lodge, Camp Chow, Lutsen-Tofte Tourism Association, George Humphrey Contracting, LLC, Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway, Apirlaat, Rockwood Lodge and Outfitters, Outdoor Research, Blue Water Café, Como Oil & Propane, My Sister’s Place, Dockside Fish Market, Art House B+B, Beth’s Fudge & Gifts, East Bay Suites, Big Bear Lodge, World’s Best Donuts, Cook County WholeFoods Co-op, North House Folk School, NorWester Lodge & Canoe Outfitters, White Pine North, Joy & Co., Sheryl Hinderman, Java Moose, Best Western Plus, Subway, Lake Superior Trading Post, Sven & Ole’s, Grand Marais Municipal Liquor Store, Lutsen Resort, Betsy Bowen Studio, Windigo Lodge, Nace Hageman, Photography by Travis Novitsky, Voyageur Brewing Company, Hillsound, Bradley Donner, Mark Tessier, Frost River, Kah-Nee-Tah Gallery & Cottages, Beaver Bay Sport Shop, Hughie’s Taco House, Fika Coffee, Sivertson Gallery, Joynes Ben Franklin, Granite Gear, Beaver House, The Dog Hus, Sysco, Gunflint Mercantile and Superior Light Source.
About Visit Cook County – dogsled capital of the Lower 48 States
Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. Last spring, Grand Marais was named the 2015 “Coolest Small Town in America” by Budget Travel, thanks to a social media voting contest. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesot
Towers for the new Lutsen Mountains gondola to arrive by helicopter next week
What | The most exciting phase of construction on Lutsen Mountains’ new $7 million gondola begins next week, with the helicopter installation of 11 steel towers at the North Shore resort. A Sikorski 61 helicopter will pick up 31 loads, some as heavy as 8,000 pounds, and air lift them to remote and sometimes precarious locations on the mountain. A ground crew will receive the load, securing it to the foundation, then scaling the tower to catch and attach the top assembly, all while working under a whirlwind of turbulence created by the giant helicopter overhead.
When | Monday, Sept. 14 and Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 – subject to weather
Where | Lutsen Mountains
Background | The only gondola system in the Midwest is getting a major facelift, and will be ready for the opening day of skiing at Lutsen Mountains in mid-November.
About Lutsen Mountains Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minn., is the largest and highest elevation ski area in the Midwest, offering four interconnected mountains, 95 runs and 820-feet of vertical, all spread over 1,000 acres. Lutsen Mountains is the largest business employer in Cook County, Minn. and generates $29 million of the county’s $159 million tourism economy. The new gondola, proposed terrain expansion and other planned investments are expected to double skier visits, and double the ski area’s economic contribution to the county’s economy to $60 million. For additional information, visit lutsen.com or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/LutsenMountains and on Twitter at twitter.com/lutsenmountains.
Lynn I. Nelson | LIN PR 612.990.0126 email@example.com Jim Vick | Lutsen Mountains 218.406.1300 JimVick@Lutsen.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Save the date for the first-ever Boundary Waters EXPO at Seagull Lake
Friday, June 12- Sunday, June 14, 2015
COOK COUNTY, Minn. – April 20, 2015 – The first-ever Boundary Waters EXPO will be held at Seagull Lake on the Gunflint Trail near Grand Marais on Friday, June 12- Sunday, June 14, 2015. The BW EXPO is family-friendly, and will feature speakers, activities, hands-on demonstrations, a raffle with prizes, campfire storytelling, a shrimp boil, bake sale and more!
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) was named one of the world’s “50 Places of a Lifetime” by National Geographic. “The dense wilderness and vast waterways attract tourists from all over the world to the BWCA,” says Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County. “Those who come to the Boundary Waters enjoy enriching outdoor activities, such as backpacking, canoeing, camping and more. The EXPO is a great way to gather information from experts about the area, and to discover what activities are available.”
The BW EXPO is sponsored by more than 18 businesses associated with creating ultimate outdoor adventures, and over 10 speakers will guide visitors with their first-hand experiences of fishing, paddling and exploring the Boundary Waters.
The BWCA Wilderness has a million acres, more than 1,000 lakes and streams, and over 1,500 miles of canoe routes. The truest of the wilderness experiences can be found in the BWCA, without the sound of motors running, electricity buzzing, and no telephone lines to interrupt the peace and quiet, and no roads into the inner lakes.
About Visit Cook County
Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. Visit Cook County inspires guests to rekindle their sense of adventure by boldly escaping the ordinary, from Minnesota’s tallest mountains to its greatest lakeshore. Stay in touch via www.visitcookcounty.com, Twitter @CookCoVisitors or Facebook.
CONTACT LYNN NELSON | LIN PR 612.990.0126 firstname.lastname@example.org KJERSTI VICK | Visit Cook County MN 218.387.2788 ext. 103 email@example.com