Officials of the Superior National Forest have scheduled an online open house Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. for anyone interested in the proposed expansion of the Lutsen Mountains Ski Area onto National Forest land.
The event will be hosted on Microsoft Teams. If you would like to attend, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees will receive an email with information on how to join the open house by phone or by digital device through a browser or mobile app.
The event is aimed at providing information and is not intended to accept formal comments on the expansion. Those should be in writing and submitted by Oct. 25 to Ellen Bogardus-Szymaniak, District Ranger: Lutsen DEIS Project, Tofte Ranger District, 7355 W. Highway 61, P.O. Box 2159, Tofte, MN 55615. Email comments to email@example.com. Include “Lutsen Mountains Ski Area Expansion Project” in the subject line. For more information, contact Michael Jimenez, project coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sept. 10, the Forest Service released a 344-page environmental review of the expansion with three alternatives: no expansion, the full Lutsen Mountains Corp. proposal and a slightly scaled-back proposal that offers most of the expansion with modifications.
The proposed expansion, in the works for nearly a decade, calls for the resort’s ski/snowboard capacity to more than double, from 2,850 guests per day to 6,300 per day, with a new, on-mountain chalet on Moose Mountain; two new access areas at the base of the hills; 175 acres of traditional, open ski-snowboard terrain; and 149 acres of gladed terrain, with more trees left in place. The company’s proposal includes seven new chairlifts and one surface lift, additional access roads to the new facilities and some rerouting of the Superior Hiking Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail.
The two new base areas would add another 1,200 parking spaces serving two new 10,000-square-foot buildings providing a variety of guest services, including food services and seating, ski school space, rental/repair options and more. Company officials have said the expansion would be developed over a decade and could cost nearly $60 million.
PREVIOUSLY: Lutsen expansion plan open for public comments
The existing Lutsen Mountains complex of four hills, multiple lifts and 95 runs — along with ski shops, chalets, taverns, restaurants, condos and hotels — now sprawls across 1,000 acres. The expansion would increase the skiable area from 180 to 320 acres, the company notes, and include an expanded base area, additional skier services and more parking on both Eagle Mountain and Moose Mountain.
The News Tribune first detailed the Lutsen Mountains expansion in 2014.