Newly renovated Canyon 9 course opens for limited play at Superior National Golf Course on September 7, 2017.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Newly renovated Canyon 9 course opens for limited play at Superior National Golf Course on September 7, 2017.

Lutsen, Minn. – August 17, 2017 – The much anticipated newly-renovated Canyon 9 course at Superior National at Lutsen is opening for play on September 7, 2017. This is the last phase of a $4.5 million improvement plan to enhance the 27-hole course.

Superior National Golf Course opened in 1992. It quickly became known as one of the premier destination golf courses in Minnesota. The Lake Superior adjacent 27-hole championship course with nearly 6,900 yards of sloping fairways and grand elevation changes earned it the title of “#1 Public Golf Course in Minnesota” by Golf Digest magazine. After several years of superior play, renovations began in 2014 on the River 9 course.

The multi-phased improvement project was designed by renowned golf course architect Jeffrey Brauer. The improvements to the courses include “Ohio’s Best” white sand, five sets of tees, wider fairways and idyllic greens. The new tee box design offers beginner friendly forward tees as well as an opportunity for a greater challenge to the veteran long-hitting golfer with extended back tees.

The River 9 course was completed in 2016 and play will be from River to Canyon. Advanced reservations for tee times are recommended due to popular demand.  Conditions of daily play will be determined by management as growth of the new turf will be monitored closely. The Mountain 9 course is also open for play through October. A grand opening for the completed project is scheduled for the spring of 2018.

Book your tee times and Stay and Play packages online at

Superior National at Lutsen is owned by the Cook County/Grand Marais EDA whose mission is to diversify the economy, create employment through retention and expansion of existing businesses and development of new businesses, support the development of housing and increase the tax base.


Media contact:

Heath Ekstrom, 218-663-7195

Superior National Golf Course aerial view

Media contact: Heath Ekstrom | Ph# 218-663-7195 | email: 

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End of the Gunflint home to some of the darkest night skies on Earth

Aired on KBJR 6 on August 17, 2017

End of the Gunflint home to some of the darkest night skies on earth


A special spot up Northern Minnesota’s Gunflint Trail has night skies that rank among the darkest on Earth.

The End of Trail Campground, at the end of the Gunflint in Cook County, has skies that rank a one on the Bortle Scale.

“It’s as dark as the darkest places in the world,” said photographer Bryan Hansel.

The Bortle scale was created by an astronomer, John Bortle, in 2001. It ranks the darkness of locations on a scale of one to nine; nine being inner city skies, one being the darkest.

“So, if you turned off the lights everywhere in the world, they would have a Bortle one,” said Hansel, “In the lower 48 [states] there’s very few of them and… this is the only one in Minnesota.”

The dark skies draw in students to Hansel’s night sky photography workshop. He’s been teaching them in Cook County for five or six years, and says they fill up fast, often with a waiting list.

“The darker it [the sky] is in photography, the more stars you get in your picture,” said Hansel, “So, if you have less light pollution you simply see a lot more stars, airglow, different sky phenomenons.”

Hansel advertises the dark location on his workshop website. He says people from all over the world come to Minnesota to take the class.

“A guy from Tanzania came in once. I’ve had people fly in from India, so we get people from around the world coming up here,” Hansel said.

Hansel attributes the popularity of night sky photography to advances in equipment that allow less expensive cameras to take better pictures at night.

“The equipment is so good now, that someone with an average level camera can come away with great night sky pictures. Where as ten years ago, that wasn’t the case, so just because the equipment is capable of doing that now, people want to get out and shoot the night sky.”
There’s no official entity that ranks locations according to the Bortle scale. Rather each number on the scale corresponds with a set of guidelines which define that ranking based on what you can see in the sky at that level of darkness. The end of the Gunflint meets all the requirements for a Bortle one.

You can find the Bortle Scale rankings here.

KBJR Duluth by Jennifer Austin

WTIP gearing up for 10th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 8 to 10

Radiowaves Music Festival Grand Marais


WTIP gearing up for 10th annual Radio Waves Music Festival Sept. 8 to 10

Grand Marais, Minn., Aug. 1, 2017 – Music fans get ready! WTIP Community Radio is gearing up for the annual Radio Waves Music Festival, Sept. 8 to 10, at Sweetheart’s Bluff in the Grand Marais Recreation Area. This marks the 10th year of the family-friendly festival, which features three days of live music from a diverse mix of local and regional artists.


Twenty-nine acts will take the stage at this year’s festival, with eight new bands, and six that have not played in several years. The weekend will feature performances by local and regional favorites, including: Dusty Heart (Americana, roots), Earth Wind & Todd (Early ‘70s rock, pop funk soul and disco), Floydian Slip (classic rock, rock), Plucked Up String Band (Astroturf), SplinterTones (eclectic dance music), the Step Rockets (indie alternative) and more.


The full music lineup is online at – just look for “Radio Waves Music Festival” under the EVENTS drop-down menu. Festival hours are Friday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.


A favorite of both visitors and area residents as well as performing musicians, Radio Waves is held rain or shine – with two stages housed under a large tent – and includes on-site food as well as children’s activities for a portion of Saturday and Sunday. Admission – available at the gate – is $10 per day or $20 for the weekend, and free to children 12 and under.


The Radio Waves Music Festival is made possible in part with funding from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, and is also supported by a grant from the Grand Marais Area Tourism Association and Visit Cook County.


About WTIP:

WTIP is an independent, nonprofit radio station broadcasting from the north shore of Lake Superior in Grand Marais since 1998. This community radio station features local news, weather and events as well as eclectic music and programming highlighting the arts, culture and history of the region. Listeners can tune in at 90.7 FM Grand Marais/North Shore, 90.1 FM Grand Portage, and 89.1 FM Gunflint Trail, or stream online – via computer, tablet or phone – at

Radio Waves Music Festival Grand Marais

Radio Waves Music Festival Grand Marais

CONTACT: Jana Berka, Development Director WTIP North Shore Community Radio Phone: 218-387-1070 Fax: 218-387-1120

After 20 successful years, ‘Crossing Borders Studio Tour’ replaced by ‘Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour’ Sept. 29 – Oct. 8

Betsy Bowen at work in her studio


After 20 successful years, ‘Crossing Borders Studio Tour’ replaced by ‘Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour’ Sept. 29 – Oct. 8

Cook County, Minn. – August 9, 2017 – A group of local artists and gallery owners joined with Visit Cook County to revive and reimagine the Crossing Borders Studio Tour, which retired last year after 20 successful years.


The new event, Art Along the Lake: Fall Studio Tour, will feature 14 stops and more than 40 artists along one of the most scenic fall color drives in Minnesota. The event will give visitors an opportunity to meet with artists in their home studios, as well as visit with guest artists at local art galleries. The dates for the Fall Studio Tour are Sept. 29 – Oct. 8, 2017.


Artists on the fall tour include Betsy Bowen Gallery & Studios in Grand Marais, Dan and Lee Ross of Hovland, who helped start the Crossing Borders event 20 years ago, and painter Hazel Belvo and other artists at Frykman Art Studio in Grand Marais. Click here for the complete list of artists and galleries.


For many of the featured artists, these 10 days will be the only time they open their studios to the public all year. “We have had customers fly in from around the country to come to the Studio Tour,” said Dan and Lee Ross, who are sculpture and print artists. “When it comes to the new tour there is an added sense of discovery this year with 11 new stops and 35 new artists. Painters are joining the tour for the first time. The tour is moving forward, and we are excited about it.

“Lake Superior is the backdrop, the boreal forest is the setting and the artwork is the centerpiece. This fall come and experience new sculpture, prints, wood turning, paintings, weavings, and more in the setting that inspired them.”


Visit Cook County supports many art events throughout the year, including the Grand Marias Arts Festival, Plein Air Grand Marais, Unplugged, and Art Along the Lake: Spring, among others.


The name for the Fall Studio Tour is derived from the spring art tour event, which occurs on Memorial Day weekend and features events and demonstrations at Cook County galleries. Visit Cook County Executive Director Linda Jurek sees art events as an important part of the local economy, noting that a 2015 regional study shows that “The Arts Economy in Cook County is the third largest in the state per capita, behind only Minneapolis and St. Paul, contributing almost $900 for each of the county’s more than 5,000 residents.”


A few weeks before the Fall Studio Tour, the Grand Marais Art Colony will host the annual Plein Air 2017 Painting Competition.  The competition allows Cook County visitors to participate or watch 60 artists depict scenes from 3,000 square miles of North Shore beauty from the Canadian Border to the Caribou River in Schroeder Friday, Sept. 8 – Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.


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




MEDIA CONTACTS Katie Krantz | Visit Cook County Ph# 218.387.2788 OR -- Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc.  Ph# 612.990.0126  Email: