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Plenty New At Minnesota Ski Resorts This Winter; Camps, Lifts, Facilities, Eateries

Giants Ridge Minnesota’s ski season is underway with Wild Mountain already open, Lutsen scheduled to open this weekend, and snowmaking underway at several other ski areas scattered across the Gopher State.


Afton Alps is offering new Ski Girls Rock camps designed by Minnesotan native Lindsey Vonn. The three day lesson programs are led by female instructors personally trained by Vonn. The program focuses on improving skiing and racing skills, building confidence and developing teamwork skills. 

Available for girls seven and older the cost, which includes lunch, is $270 for non-passholders and $210 for season passholders. The program takes place 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. over three days. It’s available twice in December and once in January and February, and reservations are required. Vonn is scheduled to meet with all participants at the end of the season for a special closing party.

Andes Tower Hills will have a new Magic Carpet lift for its beginner area this season. Over thirty-some years this small ski area, located in the middle of farm county, has had over a million visitors. Minnesotans do lover their winters. 

Buck Hill will have an air bag available this winter. Participants, which must be 12 or older, will launch off a 15-foot high snow jump into the bag. Jump tickets will be additional, and the price was not available at press time. Buck also expanded their snowmaking system.

Giants Ridge has announced they are building a new 34,500-square-foot Event Center, which will offer guests a year-round facility for recreation and skier services, a winter sports school, rental equipment for both winter and summer sports, and food and beverage venues. The expected completion date is December 2015. 

Hyland Park is building a new chalet that will help ease overcrowding that’s occurred in past winters. It will include expanded lesson and equipment rental area, more locker space, larger restrooms and changing areas, and expanded food and dining areas, among other benefits. Because of the ongoing construction they are asking visitors to carpool whenever possible and shuttle service from the newly expanded Normandale parking lot will be available this winter.

Mount Kato has installed a new conveyor lift on its beginner hill.

Powder Ridge has expanded and improved Chester’s Bar & Grill; more beer taps, hot drink specials, and an expanded menu with the new full kitchen to quell that skier’s appetite.

Ski Gull, Detroit Mountain, Andes Tower Hills and Buena Vista are honoring each other’s season passes this winter with a half-off discount. Just show your season pass when visiting and get 50-percent off your lift ticket.

Wild Mountain has added a new Piston Bully park groomer to upgrade their terrain parks and will be adding new features this winter, added new rental equipment, and upgraded restrooms in the lodge. Upon completion of the Get Hooked on skiing/snowboarding lesson package, three lessons with lift and rental included for $99, all students receive a complementary season pass for the rest of the 2014/15 season. What a great incentive to get started.

Welch Village turns 50 this season. Stay tuned for special activities and celebrations. Madd Jaxx has a new menu and bar area that will provide a boost to après’ ski activities for patrons. 

Photo: Giants Ridge is building a new Event Center (Giants Ridge)


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