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Baby Bear Cubs Rescued From Dumpster in Lutsen, MN

Bears Cubs Rescued From Dumpster in Lutsen, MN

Two bear cubs were rescued from a dumpster at the Cascade Vacation Rentals campus in Lutsen.

Baby bear cubs rescued from dumpster

Lutsen, MN, October 25, 2015 – Two bear cubs had gotten trapped inside of a dumpster at the Lutsen campus of Cascade Vacation Rentals early Wednesday morning. The mother of the cubs had managed to escape on her own but the two juveniles were trapped inside the dumpster. CVR employees worked to free the two cubs and they were reunited with their mother by Wednesday afternoon.

  •  At 7:31 AM Cascade Vacation Rentals employee Bara Raah Gregoire was going to dispose of her trash in the dumpsters at the Cascade Vacation Rentals Lutsen campus, where she lives. Although the dumpster was secure with two bear bars, which were securely in place, Bara opened the lid to find a bear within.
  •  “I just went to dumpster and both bars were on it and when I opened it the bear was sitting in the dumpster!! I wonder how that is even possible with it being barred shut?!? I ran off with my trash but didn’t put the bars back on or look to see if the bear jumped out.” That is the text Bara sent to the CVR maintenance team.
  • Around 9AM CVR owner Steve Surbaugh went up to the campus building, located two blocks behind the main office building along Highway 61 in Lutsen, to investigate. Upon going to check the dumpster for damage he spotted two cubs trapped inside. They were too small to escape on their own. An adult bear was in a tree nearby.
    For release 6:00 PM CST, October 25, 2017
  • With the help of employees Andrew Beavers and Mike “Chili” Groth, they fashioned a
    ladder out of a broken futon frame which was then lowered into the dumpster. From
    the other side Andrew and Chili create noise and banged against the side of the
    dumpster until one of the cubs slowly ascended the make-shift ladder and leaped out of
    the dumpster. The cub quickly joined its mother in the tree. The second cub was more
    reserved, popping its head out but then going back in a couple of times before it finally
    made the leap out and was reunited with its family.
  • Cascade Vacation Rentals employees Sarah Somnis and Sarena Nelson captured the
    rescue on video, which can be viewed at
  • None of the bears were harmed in the rescue and all three quickly descended from the
    tree and ran off into the nearby woods. The staff is investigating how the bears
    managed to get into the dumpsters with the bear bars attached and the lid secured. It
    just goes to show how tricky it can be to keep the bears at bay as they try to fatten up
    for their winter hibernation.

Cascade Vacation Rentals is Northern Minnesota’s largest local vacation rental company. They
rent vacation homes in along Lake Superior’s North Shore from Duluth to the Canadian border
with over 170 vacation rental properties. Cascade Vacation Rentals is owned by Steve
Surbaugh of Grand Marais, MN and Mike Larson of Lutsen, MN
For more information please contact Jaye White or Laura Muus at 218-663-7971.

by Jaye White For more information please contact Jaye White or Laura Muus at 218-663-7971. Jaye White

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Find your perfect escape this upcoming season with 7 great winter travel destinations

Find your perfect escape this upcoming season with 7 great winter travel destinations. As seen in Star Tribune Magazine October 2017.

Fall’s an easy sell. Once it rolls out those showy colors, people think nothing of traveling miles to watch it unfold. Winter, though, is a mixed bag — with many wanting to jet off farther afield. Here are some choice destinations to help satisfy your seasonal wanderlust. By Berit Thorkelson

Grand Marais, Minn.

You really should get extra “true Minnesotan” points for visiting Grand Marais in winter.

Sure, it’s cold, and some businesses shut down or run on limited hours, but dress for the weather and reap your reward. Among the grand potentials: Frozen waterfalls, Northern Lights dancing across the dark winter sky and a Lake Superior so stunningly furious you get the sense that you might benefit from a life jacket even while standing on shore.

Other draws are more reliable, such as classes on kick-sled building or lefse-making at North House Folk School, all of the winter sports, and a high concentration of cozy public fireplaces, such as Voyageur Brewing Company’s slate-stone wood-burning beaut, which holds craft beer and fireside knitting sessions during Hygge Festival in February. Word is you get double true Minnesotan points for that one.

Where to stay: Try East Bay Suites, right on Lake Superior. Bonus: The suites’ kitchens and nearby co-op make a great combo during the quiet winter season.

Worth noting: Among the many Cook County fall and winter festivals: The Lake Superior Storm Festival, with speakers on the legendary Gales of November.

Read the full story here:

Star Tribune by Berit Thorkelson

Visit Minnesota Monthly Website

Vote for Grand Marais in Minnesota Monthly’s Best MN Town Contest

sail boat on the water in Grand Marais

sail boat on the water in Grand Marais


Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County, Marketing Manager | PH#: 218.387.2788 + Email:


Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. | PH#: 612.990.0126 + Email:




Vote for Grand Marais in Minnesota Monthly’s Best MN Town Contest


Grand Marais, Minn. – Sept. 20, 2017 – This week, Grand Marais, Minn., was chosen as a contender for the “Best MN Town” contest sponsored by Minnesota Monthly Magazine.  Grand Marais is competing against nine Minnesota towns, including Owatonna, Walker, Duluth, Hopkins, Waconia, etc.  See for more contest details and to VOTE!

“Grand Marais has won three national contests in the past three years,” said Linda Jurek, executive director of Visit Cook County. “These contests are about far more than just driving tourism to our area. As a born-and-raised ‘local gal’, I’m excited about the hometown pride these sorts of awards have inspired.

“When we won the Coolest Small Town in America award in 2015, we weren’t sure what to expect. We anticipated an increase in visitor traffic and media attention, but the biggest win was the boost in community pride. Over 35 businesses have made substantial improvements to their buildings since then, which has improved the look of our town, but more importantly has reinvested money directly back into our local economy. That has been the most significant benefit of these awards.”

Grand Marais Mayor, Jay Arrowsmith DeCoux suggests that “Residents and visitors to join us in showing how proud we are of this little town near the big lake. There aren’t many places that are located right in the midst of a protected wilderness area, an ancient mountain range, and the largest fresh water lake in the world, Lake Superior. There are many other reasons that Grand Marais is unique, but our natural amenities can’t be beat!”


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


Minnesota Monthly MEDIA CONTACTS Kjersti Vick | Visit Cook County, Marketing Manager PH#: 218.387.2788 + Email: Or Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. PH#: 612.990.0126 + Email:

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Newly renovated golf course opens to public

Newly renovated golf course opens to public

The newly-renovated Canyon 9 golf course at Superior National in Lutsen opened for play on Thursday.

 It was the last phase of a $4.5 million improvement plan to enhance the 27-hole course. Superior National opened in 1992 and is owned by the Cook County/Grand Marais Economic Development Association.
Canyon 9 is the second golf course redevelopment project at Lutsen. In 2014, work began on the River 9 course, which was completed in 2016. A grand opening at the growing recreational complex is scheduled for next spring.
Business North

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: 

Visit KBJR Duluth Website

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