Right now, construction crews are clearing brush and moving dirt for new mountain bike trails, but Shelly Stowman’s full attention is focused on November 28, the opening day of the new Detroit Mountain Ski and Recreation area in Detroit Lakes.
At an August open house, more than 1000 visitors snuck a first look at the new lodge and warming house, complete with a bar, fireplace, and guest services area.
“We were thrilled to see so many curious people come to check things out. “said Stowman, Marketing, Events and Snow Sports Director.
Detroit Mountain was a privately owned downhill ski operation for over 50 years and closed in 2004. Soon after, local community members began discussing how the vacant 260-acre winter-only resort could be turned into a year-round recreational facility with skiing, mountain biking, and hiking trails.
In 2004, Detroit Mountain Recreation Area, Inc. became a 501c3 non-profit and fundraising began.
“Our goal was to open with a debt-free facility and the enthusiasm for this project has been amazing”, said Stowman.
Ten years and $8 Million later she is looking forward to the winter opener of 2014.
“We’ll have eleven snow cannons shooting 1000 gallons per minute.” said Stowman, “We can make our own snow.”
Locals have called it ‘the mountain’ for a long time, and in its new incarnation it will have an all-new terrain park for snowboarders, a tubing hill, downhill, and cross-country skiing.
Two ski lifts, a towrope, and a conveyor-belt style ‘magic carpet’ will take skiers and snow tubers up the peak of Detroit Mountain to 15 different downhill runs.
That’s in the winter.
Next spring, the lift will be slowed down to take mountain bikers on a ride on the purpose-built flow trails as well.
Detroit Mountain opens for skiing in November and will open for hiking and mountain biking sometime in the late spring or early summer of 2015.