Continuing Evolution, Lutsen Mountains Breaks Ground for New Gondola
Lutsen, MN – June 24, 2015 – Lutsen Mountains broke ground June 23 on a new $7 million Doppelmayr gondola, which will be operational by opening day of the 2015-16 ski season. With red cars as a nod to the iconic original, the new 8-passenger gondola will multiply rider capacity to 1,000 visitors per hour. This project is part of a 10-year, $25 million transformation that has evolved Lutsen Mountains into a state-of-the-art destination ski resort.
“The new gondola will minimize wait times and become a new visual icon of the North Shore,” said Tom Rider, family co-owner. “As a family business and economic anchor for our community, Lutsen Mountains is committed to offering the premier mountain resort experience in the Midwest.”
Rider was in attendance at the groundbreaking along with family co-owner Charles Skinner; Jim Boyd, Executive Director of the Cook County Chamber of Commerce; Linda Kratt, Executive Director of the Cook County Visitors Bureau; and Steve Mayhew, Site Manager for Doppelmayr.
“While Dopplemayr works on lift installations worldwide, there are a few installations where the lift becomes iconic and transformative to the resort,” said Steve Mayhew, Site Manager for Doppelmayr. “The Lutsen Mountains project is sure to be a project of this magnitude and we are proud to be a partner in this expansion.”
Current Gondola Construction Timeline
Now – July 15: Dig and form tower and terminal footings
July 15 – Helicopter concrete to terminals and tower footings
Sept. 1 – Helicopter towers
Sept. 1 – Gondola cabins arrive from Switzerland
Sept. 15 – Top terminal complete
Oct. 15 – Drive terminal complete
Oct. 15 – Pull and splice cable
Nov. 1 – Testing
Nov. 15 – Gondola complete
The existing gondola will remain operational throughout the summer. The old gondola cars will be sold at auction in the fall.
“The new gondola and other investments at Lutsen Mountains will ripple through the entire region,” said Boyd. “Having a state-of-the-art destination ski resort in our community not only draws visitors who support local businesses, it also helps entice new families to live, work and become part of the community in Cook County.”
Improvements to Lutsen Mountains in the past few years include:
- New high-speed, 6-person chairlift on Moose Mountain, reducing ride time from 10 minutes to 3.5 minutes
- New snowmaking technology that produces more snow in less time with a significant reduction in energy and water consumption
- New runs, including acres of tree skiing, several new terrain parks, and new double-black diamond runs on the north side of Moose Mountain
- New Summit Chalet featuring mountaintop dining and breathtaking views of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountain Range and the Poplar River Valley
- Over $1.7 million to improve water quality in the Poplar River watershed
- Establishment of the Lake Superior-Poplar River Water District and partnerships with the State of Minnesota, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) and the Cook County EDA to finance a pipeline to use water from Lake Superior for snowmaking and other community benefits
About Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen Mountains, located in Lutsen, Minnesota, is the largest and highest-elevation ski area in the Midwest, with four interconnected mountains, 97 runs and 1080 feet of vertical, all spread over 1,000 acres. Lutsen Mountains is the largest business employer in Cook County, Minn., generating $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 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tour de Fox Climb for Parkinson’s set for July 10 on Eagle Mountain in BWCA
COOK COUNTY, Minn., (June 16, 2015) – Northwest of the Coolest Small Town in America of Grand Marais, Tour de Fox, a program of the Michael J. Fox Foundation, is inviting teams to climb Eagle Mountain (2,301 ft.) to raise money for research and to raise awareness for Parkinson’s on Friday, July 10, 2015 at 7 a.m.
Heading the Tour de Fox challenge is endurance athlete Sam Fox (no relation to Michael J. Fox). Sam currently works full-time at the Michael J. Fox Foundation in New York City as the foundation’s outreach and engagement officer and got involved in raising money for Parkinson’s research when his mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2000.
“Because Eagle Mountain in the BWCA is the highest point in Minnesota, Tour de Fox chose our community for their only hike in our state,” says Linda Kratt, executive director of Visit Cook County.
Join the Tour
Kratt plans to hike in the Tour de Fox with Grand Marais Mayor Jay Arrowsmith-DeCoux. They invite other fund-raisers to join them on the 7-mile round-trip hike. Anyone with little or no experience can sign up to participate in an event, or you can simply donate to Sam, or donate to a participant.
Tour de Fox supporters will be biking and hiking their way across the U.S. to help raise $1,000,000 for Parkinson’s research. This extreme adventure takes place over a three-month period of time, covers 49 peaks, 14,000 miles in all of the lower 48 states.
Video | https://youtu.be/-NbytdpjT4g
About the Michael J. Fox Foundation and Tour de Fox
The Michael J. Fox Foundation launched in 2000, nine years after the multi-award winning actor Michael J. Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1991. The partnership of the MJFF and Tour de Fox is a way for the community to come together and help raise money for research and raise awareness for Parkinson’s through donating money to a team or an individual participating in a Tour de Fox event. To connect, check out: Web www.tourdefox.org, Facebook www.facebook.com/tourdefox Instagram: @samfoxmjff, Twitter: @SamFoxMJFF, and Tumblr: www.gotourdefox.tumblr.com.
About Visit Cook County
Cook County, Minn. includes the communities of Lutsen, Tofte, Schroeder, Grand Marais, the Gunflint Trail and Grand Portage. This 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. 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 218.387.2788 ext. 103 email@example.com