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.

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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