Pandemic Prompting More People to Hit the Slopes at Lutsen Mountains

With Safety Precautions in Place, Staff at Lutsen Mountains is Ready to Welcome Visitors to the Slopes

LUTSEN, Minn. – It’s known as cabin fever, and this year, we may find ourselves letting it sink in earlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, many winter weather enthusiasts are embracing current restrictions and taking a trip up the North Shore.

“If you would like an action-packed, nature-filled, beautiful landscape ski resort, come to Lutsen Mountains,” exclaimed Rhylee Octavion, a resident of Wausau, Wisconsin. “They have beautiful views, the drops that will get you shaking in your boots.”

It takes a good character to make memories on a mountain.

For Octavion, he didn’t bat an eye at driving to Lutsen from his hometown in central Wisconsin.

“My whole life I’ve been snowboarding since I could walk pretty much, my mom had me out on the slopes,” said Octavion.

The lifelong winter daredevil is thrilled to be upbeat and active amid the global pandemic.

“Honestly it’s just an amazing feeling to get out into the wilderness and be able to shred some powder,” said Octavion.

The friendly folks at Lutsen Mountains are seeing an increase in customers this year.

“We’ve been impressed with guests arriving in the know, and with both the mental attitude and what they need to make their day go well,” said Jim Vick, marketing manager at Lutsen Mountains.

Vick says the positivity this year has been priceless.

“To be active in the outdoors has been such a big thing for folks,” said Vick.

Guests are now going the extra mile to appreciate the little things as lockdowns and restrictions continue to put a damper on daily lives.

“As we planned for this season we knew that we’d have limitations for indoor dining,” said Vick.

The hill has adjusted by creating new outdoor dining spaces complete with heaters, and glass enclosures.

“It’s been rewarding to see it all work, it’s also been challenging,” said Vick.

Although the resort isn’t able to offer live music, concerts, or festivals, it’s not keeping skiers and snowboarders from hitting the slopes.

“The spirit of our guests — They are coming in with enthusiasm to be outside — more enthusiasm for skiing, for being outside than we’ve seen in a long time,” said Vick.

Vick is happy the numbers are showing a positive reality amid a year of unknowns.

“We are pacing ahead of our previous years,” said Vick.

“I’m optimistic as we keep operating, and things have gone well so far, we get through the season, this is a good year for us,” said Vick.

As many of us look for ways to spice up our lives, some say all it takes is an open mind, and a day spent with Mother Nature to make the most out of any situation.

“It makes you feel alive, kind of like riding a Harley or something like that. You get the wind in your face and that little rush of adrenaline,” said Octavion.

Staff says many customers are taking advantage of slower weekdays to hit the slopes.

Lutsen Mountains is open at 9:30 a.m. during the week, and 9:00 a.m. on the weekends. The mountain shuts down daily at 4:00 p.m.

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