Monday, June 30, 2008

Spirit Mountain Master Plan 2008



Last Wed. I had the opportunity to check out the new Spirit Mountain Master Plan. Spirit Mountain is our local ski area. It entails an Alpine slope with several lifts, a Chalet and some housing. It also has perhaps the sweetest nordic trails in the area as well. Unfortunately the area is run by a tangle of city and federal bureaucracy. I worked there for a season, heading up the nordic center. Never in a lifetime of working in the ski industry had I worked at a place that had more potential for greatness but was more ignored by its management and its leadership. Truly a tragedy, especially since city run organizations should be run for the public and despite the community organization, direct requests and outright anger nothing positive has ever been done for Spirit Mountain Nordic. Well of course I was interested when I went to the unveiling of the master plan last week. I have to say I saw some positive things. I also saw some silly things that are going to cost a lot of money. Buy mainly I saw the same blank stares that I always get when I asked questions about nordic skiing and singletrack riding....
I wish I could truly put into words the atmosphere there, it is a ski area but one that is in Duluth, MN. So it has this sense of skiing heritage but this total ignorance of what is going on in the ski industry as a whole. It still feels like skiing at the country club, like skiing is and especially Alpine skiing is a privileged sport, yet even the people who run the place have no idea what "nordic" skiing is....."Oh you mean regular skiiing"? This same attitude appeared while I was asking about new mountain bike trails. The two people in charge of that kiosk at the event nodded their heads and pointed to the alpine ski tralis said, "yeah there will be mountain bike trails, you can even take the lift to them!"
Anyway, you read the plan you make the call.
OH PS. The ski header I posted is actually the image used for the nordic ski page!

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