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Lutsen Mountains co-owner purchases full ownership interest

Co-owner and co-president Charles Skinner is purchasing his brother-in-law Tom Rider's 50% ownership interest after more than three decades of shared leadership and ownership.

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A car travels on Lutsen Mountains' gondola. Samantha Erkkila / 2015 file / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Charles Skinner is now the sole owner and president of Lutsen Mountains, the resort announced Wednesday in a news release.

Skinner is in the process of purchasing co-owner and co-president Tom Rider's 50% ownership interest. Skinner and Rider are brother-in-laws. The ski resort, which was founded by George Nelson Jr. in 1948, was purchased by Charlie Skinner in 1980. His son, Charles, and son-in-law, Tom, have run the resort together since joining the business in the early 1990s.

“I have long believed that the best model for destination ski areas of our size is multi-generational family ownership," Skinner said in the news release. "And with both of my daughters, Charlotte and Caroline, having grown up in the ski business, and with MBA degrees, I am grateful that they have the interest and aptitude to lead the family business in the coming years.”

According to the news release, the stock purchase was initiated by Rider, but the specific terms are considered private and were not released.

“Having devoted three decades of my life to Lutsen Mountains, the decision to sell my interest was difficult and comes with many mixed emotions,” Rider said in the release. “The main condition to selling was that the business be left in capable hands, and I am confident that with continued family ownership, and the superb team of key staff in place, that the future of Lutsen Mountains is bright.”

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Lutsen Mountains also announced a plan to collaborate more closely with Granite Peak in Wausau, Wisconsin, including combined tickets and season passes, as well as shared operational and management duties.

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