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)

Talking Tourism: Superior Trail Races – How an event extends beyond the weekend

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: April 2019

Talking Tourism: Superior Trail Races – How an event extends beyond the weekend | by John Storkamp,  Race Director for the Superior Trail Races

In 1991 an ambitious group of volunteers created the Superior 100 Mile Trail Race on the North Shore of Lake Superior in Northern Minnesota.  The concept was pretty simple, yet would prove to be forward thinking and well ahead of its time.  The idea was this; runners would run continuously, day and night, through Lake and Cook counties, through several Minnesota state parks, on the newly minted Superior Hiking Trail and would cover 100 miles in the process.  As a result, the North Shore lays claim to the 10th oldest 100 mile trail running race in the country.  Today, there are nearly 200 trail races of this distance in the United States and their rise in popularity over the last decade can only be described as meteoric. Look at what the marketing-types now call “adventure tourism” and the boon that it can bring to the economies of small outstate communities and the creation of the Superior 100 Mile Trail Race by those volunteers all the way back in 1991 looks downright prophetic.

The first year that the race was held, there were 27 finishers, today we have more people volunteering at a single aid station (aid station; think water-stop like at a half or full road marathon but with a lot of good grub for famished runners and perhaps an impromptu dance party breaking out from time to time). But for all of the growth and changes over the years, the motivation of our runners remains the same.  People want to get out and challenge themselves in one of the most breathtakingly rugged and beautiful places in the country; The North Shore, Lake Superior, Cook and Lake Counties, Minnesota state parks and the Superior Hiking Trail.

Today, the Superior Trail Races consist of both Spring and Fall editions with Caribou Highlands Lodge on Lutsen Mountain acting as race headquarters – all races finishing in the shadow of the unmistakable Moose Mountain.  The Spring edition of the race is always held the weekend before Memorial weekend and features 12.5KM, 25KM and 50KM races while the Fall edition is always held the weekend after Labor Day weekend and features a 26.2 Mile, 50 Mile and 100 Mile race.  The field limit for both the Spring and Fall editions of the race is just shy of 1000 participants and due to the popularity of each event, not everyone that wants to race can get in, so registration is held via a lottery.  It takes about 200 volunteers to pull off the Spring race and nearly 400 to pull off the Fall race and volunteering in many ways has become an equal draw on event weekend.  While we do have many great volunteers from the North Shore, the lion’s share come from Duluth, the Twin Cities and many other Minnesota communities – some folks even traveling from out of state just to volunteer!  In a given season we will host runners from nearly all 50 states and multiple countries.  Runners more often than not travel with friends and family and plan a vacation around their race.  Add up the runners, the volunteers and the spectators and we get to introduce, or share again, our beloved North Shore with a lot of really great, like-minded people.

Trail and ultra runners are pretty low key individuals and often times like to fly under the radar, likely a function of how tough the sport is – they put themselves out there with their actions and often times not their words.  For many years the races themselves flew under the radar as well but with increased interest and popularity things have evolved over the past decade.  Hotels and motels reach capacity, restaurants and cafe’s along Highway 61 bustle… today, people know when the races are happening.  Given the increased size, scope and overall footprint of the races we rely on more volunteers, more sponsors and a core group of local partners – significant among them Visit Cook County.  These relationships and the contributions of our partners help us keep the Superior Trail Races operationally and reputationally strong not only in Minnesota but nationally and internationally.

While it may sound ambitious, through the grace of our runners, volunteers and partners we have been quietly achieving our mission for quite some time: To provide fun, challenging and life-changing experiences for our runners, their friends, families and our volunteers alike. To deliver maximum benefit to the area and communities therein. To drive interest, members, volunteers, donations and funding to the Superior Hiking Trail – the conduit that runs throughout and ultimately makes all of these good works possible.

/// John Storkamp is the Race Director for the Superior Trail Races.  He and his wife Cheri spearhead the events which are only made possible through the efforts of an extremely committed group of their friends, referred to in the above story as “volunteers”. John took his first backpacking trip on the Superior Hiking Trail in 1996 and has been on the trail ever since. John and Cheri split their time between Hastings, MN and Silver Bay, MN.

Superior Trail Races

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

Talking Tourism: What do you want to be?

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: March 2019

Talking Tourism: What do you want to be? | by Anna Klobuchar

As an adult with life experience, what do you wish you had been told about careers?  Or, as a teenager contemplating a future vocation, what information would be beneficial? Visit Cook County will attend the College and Opportunities Fair on April 3 at ISD #166 to let the students know how their various interests and potential post-secondary plans can directly align with the industry of tourism, entrepreneurial endeavors in our county or employment in our organization.  We thrive on new ideas, positivity, fresh perspectives, and that “fire in the belly” drive that young people can bring to us.

Yes, tourism drives 85% of Cook County’s economy.  But I am writing to you from the perspective that not only are lodges, restaurants and retail businesses important employers in our area, Visit Cook County is a Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) and is also an employer to a team of 11 people who blend their various strengths, educational backgrounds, and talents to attract and provide assistance to visitors.  It works because we work. Hard. And, the team also drops their paychecks into our local economy every two weeks.  According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2016, those employed in the hospitality and leisure industry contributed to a workforce of 15 million jobs nationwide.

Growing up on the Iron Range, I had a hardworking friend who at the age of 12, much like Hermey the misfit elf in Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer, stated that she wanted to become at dentist. And she did! The rest of us don’t make such emphatic career choices so early. In today’s lightning speed, ever changing world, perhaps the message to the dewy-eyed 16 to 18 year olds is that it’s okay if they don’t know at such a young age what they want to the do for the rest of their lives.

At Visit Cook County, we have a Psychology major as our Finance Administrator, working with complex budgets and databases.  You’re reading an article from a Journalism/Political Science major who is now the Information Center Coordinator. Our Executive Director started as a Theater major, detoured into motherhood, and has a passion for people and organizational management.  She has worked in medical transcription, insurance coding, owned multiple businesses, was a kick box instructor, and later became Director of Retention and worked on major events with the Duluth Chamber and Greater Duluth Downtown Council.  Lastly, our Events Resource Coordinator discovered a huge university didn’t work for her, returned home for a breather, and is now carrying a full load of on-line classes pursuing her Accounting and Organizational Management degrees. Our Marketing Manager and our Communications Manager are the two who are currently practicing their majors in their current occupations. They both spent many years in other fields of art and hospitality.

Our advice to the young, upcoming work force? Study what interests you, and the important skills to learn are to problem solve and communicate your ideas. Explore the jobs available through a DMO such as ours.  What occupations fall under that umbrella?  The list is endless!  Our area is rich in artistry and creativity. We work with photographers, graphic designers, videographers, and layout artists.  We rely on and employ those who are website builders, coders, techie data chasers, analytical programmers,receptionists, writers, file managers, historians, researchers, sales managers, customer service representatives, skilled communicators, social network strategists, and foreign language translators.  And that truly is the tip of the iceberg.

The ethereal “find your bliss”, or “do what you love” counsel may apply to few right away, but sometimes it takes a while to make that happen or get discovered.  In today’s economy, useful guidance is more along the lines of “figure out what you are good at and what you find satisfying and work in that field.”  Then, roll up your sleeves and have at it. Discipline, motivation, compromise, humility, flexibility and honesty will carry you through your chosen profession or vocation.  Career satisfaction often comes from the people you work with and who surround you, and not particularly what you do.  And lastly, don’t fear change.   The best life lessons are the ones you learn by trial and error, and these job fairs are a great opportunity to open the students’ eyes to all the choices they have.

So, what do you want to be when you grow up?

Talking Tourism: Secret Sauce

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: February 2019

Talking Tourism: Secret Sauce | by Kjersti Vick

Last week at the annual Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference in the Twin Cities, Visit Cook County was brought up by our peers as a model that is working. Being industry leaders, Linda was asked to present on a panel of experts discussing “Creating Impactful Events” to a standing room only room. The secret is out, what we are doing is working to drive tourism and awareness to our region.

Visit Cook County was founded in 2010 when the three tourism associations decided to stop competing against each other and combine forces to achieve a greater market share.  In our relatively short history, our region has seen unprecedented growth in lodging tax. While the peak summer months still see the largest influx of lodging tax dollars, the months that have seen the most significant growth from 2011, until 2017 are:

  1. April + 60%
  2. June + 59%
  3. May +58%
  4. October +48%
  5. November +43%

We were tasked with driving traffic during the “shoulder seasons” or times of the year when businesses felt an increase in traffic would be beneficial to sustaining their ability to remain open and therefor sustain their workforce. Our team of marketing experts and the board strategized on what we could do to either convert current guests from peak season to shoulder season visitors and/or attract new market segments.

Enter “Waterfall Season.” Utilizing our natural assets, we changed the perspective of mud season by creating a new season embracing what occurs naturally – the melting of snow and ice on the inland lakes rushing down to Lake Superior. In addition to seeing an increase in visitation, we’ve seen more social media posts about waterfalls and received some significant press in major publications like the Star Tribune. On our website, our waterfall map is one of our most sought after downloads.

Beyond our natural assets, we are unique in another way thanks to our locally collected 1% Events Tax. The events tax has allowed us to be a strategic partner with event producers to both enhance the visitor experience and develop events that will attract new visitors to the region. Major events like the Lutsen99er, is one of the biggest successes. Prior to the Lutsen99er, the month of June was a hit or miss and its success was incredibly weather dependent. Since 2011, in the Lutsen-Tofte-Schroeder lodging tax district, June has seen a 64% increase in lodging tax collections. This can be directly attributed to the success of this great event which has also caused a ripple effect of an increased awareness of biking in our community. The result? New single-track mountain bike trails being built as well as new biking events throughout the year.

Because of the foresight of the leadership from our three tourism associations, Visit Cook County has become a premiere Destination Marketing Organization in Minnesota. Our success is one part location and tradition mixed with two parts creative marketing.

2019 Visit Cook County at Explore Mn

Pictured from left to right: Lynn Nelson of LINPR, Kjersti Vick of Visit Cook County MN, Lily Nelson-Pedersen of Visit Cook County, Barb Darland of Giant Voices, and Linda Jurek of Visit Cook County MN

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

Talking Tourism: What Shoulder Season?

Talking Tourism Monthly Column in the Cook County News Herald.

Originally published: December 2018

Talking Tourism: What Shoulder Season? | by Amanda Plummer, Guest Services Director & Marketing Assistant at Lutsen Mountains (Guest Author)

Even though our slopes have been open for a few weekends now, this time of year our community takes a collective deep breath as the pace slows down and the seasons change, this is known to most as a shoulder season. A shoulder season is a travel season between peak and off-peak times, a season that many in travel and tourism have come to greatly appreciate and anticipate. At Lutsen Mountains however, our shoulder season lasts exactly three weeks, and even during that time while we may not have guests onsite the action behind the scenes outpaces even summer.

While thoughts of winter are in the back of our minds year-round, the moment the temperature drops we hit high gear as we prepare our slopes for our winter enthusiasts. First up is our snowmaking and maintenance crews, working around the clock to combine the powers of man and machine to create the core of our business, SNOW. We often post through social media to #thankasnowmaker and I know I don’t do it enough myself. What they create is magic and without it we wouldn’t be able to operate from mid-November through May which is an amazing season in the Snowsports industry! But a larger than life pile of snow isn’t all it takes, first we need to get people to start thinking about winter which can be hard to do when they are thinking of turkey and stuffing which is where marketing comes into play. This time of year, we work to increase our digital reach and our share of the winter market through social media, email and our website. The more eyes we have on Lutsen and our snowmaking now, the more skiers and riders we have as we get into the full swing of operations.

Once they are ready to book, they head online for their ski & stay package. We partner with fifteen area resorts from Schroeder to Grand Marais to offer discounted rates when lift tickets and lodging are bundled together. These partnerships are crucial to winters in Cook County as we all work together to fill our lodging spaces as well as secure the commitment from customers for their time spent on the slopes, in our shops, and in our restaurants. With nearly 100,000 skier visits each season, the ripple effect of these guests and the jobs and families they support become a key economic driver in the community.

As the shoulder season fades, peak season is just around the corner (daily operations resume Friday, December 14th) and our team of 50 core employees has grown to 150 including our seasonal staff to meet the added demands of peak winter. While there is a ton of work behind the scenes, in the end, we are sharing an active winter lifestyle, creating memories and building family traditions. See you on the slopes!

Talking Tourism - guest author- Amanda Plummer of Lutsen Mountains

Talking Tourism – guest author- Amanda Plummer of Lutsen Mountains

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.

                                                                         ###

 

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

PR | First Annual Dark Skies Festival to be Held Dec. 14-15 in Cook County, Minn.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

First Annual Dark Skies Festival to be Held Dec. 14-15 in Cook County, Minn.

 

Cook County, Minn. – Nov. 11, 2018 — Head north to celebrate some of the nation’s darkest skies on Dec. 14-15. The Dark Sky Festival is the first annual celebration of its kind in the Arrowhead Region, and it will feature presentations from Minnesota’s Dark Sky experts.

 

University of Minnesota – Duluth Faculty Administrator Joel Halvorson, faculty researcher Jim Rock, and their students will bring back the traveling planetarium that visited Cook County in August. They will make stops at area schools, before putting on public presentations over the weekend. On Friday, Dec. 14, starting at 5 p.m., visitors can head to Voyageur Brewing Company, where the GeoDome will be set up until 9 p.m.

 

Halvorson will address such topics as Traveling the Cosmos, uncovering the Dark Secrets of Dark Matter, and the 50th anniversary of the iconic Earthrise photo–our planet’s first selfie. There will be telescopes set up outside to view the night sky during the famous winter Geminids Meteor Shower, which will be at peak during the festival.

 

On Saturday, there will be a night packed full of presentations at North House Folk School in Grand Marais. From 5-6:30 p.m., Cook County photographers Travis Novitsky and Bryan Hansel will have a friendly duel of nightscape images. Novitsky and Hansel are the two most experienced night sky photographers in the Midwest. They’ll also talk about why they love night sky photography, and what drives them to travel the lonely, dark, roads of Cook County in the middle of the night, while sharing images from their night sky adventures. This will be one of the most unforgettable presentations of the year, and you don’t want to miss it.

 

At 6:30 p.m., Jim Rock will talk about Native Skies: the stars and indigenous people. Halvorson and Rock have a unique and expansive presentation that allows viewers to learn about the stars in ways they’ve never imagined. After the presentations, there will be a community bonfire outside of North House for more stargazing and s’mores, weather permitting.

 

Everyone is then invited to Voyageur Brewing for more time with Halvorson and his students in the GeoDome, which will be available to the public until the brewery closes at 10 p.m.

 

 

 

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.

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