Thursday, January 10, 2008
Sign of the times.....vanishing nordic ski resorts
As a young college grad I headed out west like so many of my peers to get a taste of the mountain life. I somehow ended working at Lone Mountain Ranch. At the time perhaps the premier Cross Country Resort in the country. It was at its peak, it was still owned by Bob and Viv Schapp, both extremely passionate nordic skiers, it had none of the developement it has today so it bragged 95 Km of trails and it had a brand new Piston Bully 160 that I was in charge of driving. My life was perhaps defined by that year at Lone Mountain. Well, the new trend in Nordic resorts, places that have lodging, huge amounts of space for trails and an ethic and mantra based around aerobic skiing are quickly dissapearing as owners tire of the lackluster snow years and see a huge profit to be made in selling off the acreage for developement. Here is another resort, Royal Gorge, long called the holy grail of nordic ski resorts is also being sold chunk by chunk http://www.saveroyalgorge.org/
Lastly, I can not say this is the case for Bearskin Lodge, but after having a lengthy conversation with the new owner at his New Years Eve party this year I came away with the IMPRESSION that he was thinking of the exact same thing for his resort on the Gunflint trail. Only time will tell.