Charles Skinner Sole Owner Of Lutsen Mountains
Charles Skinner, a co-owner of Lutsen Mountains, has purchased his brother-in-law Tom Rider's fifty-percent ownership, and is now sole owner of the Heartland's largest ski area. Skinner is also owner of Granite Peak, Wisconsin's largest ski resort.
The ski area was founded by George Nelson, Jr. in 1948. It was purchased by Charles Skinner in 1980 who ran the operation until Charles and his brother-in-law Tom bought him out took over in the early 1990s. It always has been and remains a family-run resort.
Lutsen Mountains, which covers 1,000 acres, offers 95 runs, the longest two miles, that fall off four mountain tops. The ancient Sawtooth Mountain chain rises over 1,000 feet above Lake Superior, which is often in sight on many of the runs.
The ownership change comes as the resort is in the final stage of a seven-year application and review process to get approval allowing expansion of the ski area onto adjacent Forest Service land. It would greatly improve the overall skier and snowboarding experience with the amount of skiable terrain and variety it would offer. It will be a boon to both the the region and to Great Lakes skiers and riders that will enjoy the mountainous environment.
Another enhancement for Midwest snowsports enthusiasts is that they also announced there will be more collaboration between Lutsen and Granite Peak in the future. The two Heartland giants are just 330 miles apart, a little over a five hour drive. Joint promotions, including combined ticket and season pass sales, could be a possibility.
Granite Peak is also in the process of seeking approval to expand into more of Wisconsin's Rib Mountain State Park. The Peak is located within the park and operates through a permit with the state. The expansion would add over 40 new runs and four new lifts. There are currently 68 trails, three high-speed lifts including a six-seater, and a 700-foot vertical making it one of the largest ski areas in the Heartland.