KQDS Fox 21 Duluth’s Brittney Merlot LIVE on Christmas Morning

2 Hour COLD Morning Show LIVE on Christmas morning with KQDS Fox21’s meteorologist Brittney Merlot. In addition to LIVE on air broadcasts with Lutsen Mountains staff and guests, Visit Cook County’s Kjersti Vick was on site to talk about how to stay warm this winter and what else is coming up.


Snowshoeing with Kjersti Vick of Visit Cook County MN.

Talking Hygge with Kjersti Vick of Visit Cook County MN.

LIVE with meteorologist Brittney Merlot at Lutsen Mountains on Christmas morning.

New Years Eve planning and how to dress for cold weather with Lutsen Mountains’ Jim Vick.

Behind the scene with the groomers at Lutsen Mountains. 

Heading out with Ski Patrol to learn about how they keep the mountain safe.

Christmas Gift Exchange with KQDS’s Brett Scott and Brittney Merlot

KQDS Fox 21 Duluth by Brittney Merlot

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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

Visit Star Tribune Website

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. eastbaysuites.com

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: http://www.startribune.com/find-your-perfect-escape-this-fall-and-winter-with-7-great-travel-destinations/450290453/

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:  kjersti@visitcookcounty.com


Lynn Nelson | LIN Public Relations, Inc. | PH#: 612.990.0126 + Email: lnelson.linpr@gmail.com




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 www.bestmntown.com 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 www.visitcookcounty.com.


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

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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 superiornational.com.

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 snlproshop@gmail.com

Superior National Golf Course aerial view

Media contact: Heath Ekstrom | Ph# 218-663-7195 | email: snlproshop@gmail.com