The old Telemark Resort, near Cable, Wisconsin, hasn’t been open for winter activities for 20 years, and the lodge since 2013. A Florida based hospitality group had planned to reopen the shuttered resort, but the plans fell through.
Now a new proposal has surfaced that's led by James Bolen, owner of nearby Lake Orion Resort, to reopen the ski hill that would include a new 250-room lodge, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. They are still negotiating the purchase of the 250-acres needed for their development. The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation that puts on the annual cross-country ski race has an option to purchase the 750 acres that include the ski hill and lodge.
According to the article they have no desire to run the resort but are creating a master plan for the property that serves as the starting point for the February cross-country ski race.
Telemark began when Tony Wise and H.B. Hewitt opened the winter of 1947. A chair lift was added in 1964 to supplement the rope tows and, over the years, more improvements came, such as townhouses and a network of cross-country ski trails. When the $6 million lodge opened in December 1972, it included fine dining, a nightclub, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, and outdoor tennis courts. At the time it was considered a major player in the Midwest downhill ski scene. It was eclipsed by larger resorts with bigger verticals and more ski runs. Since the mid-1980s the resort has opened and closed and been sold several times.
This was where the first American Birkebeiner, today one of the largest cross country ski races in the world, was held in 1973. It attracts over 6,000 participants to the annual event in late February.