Telemark – Version 2.0
For Immediate Release by Joe Vadeboncoeur
The momentum is really beginning to pick up with the Birkie’s project with Telemark. As you will recall, the Birkie signed a 2 year lease with the intention to purchase the Telemark property in July of 2019. We are in the 2nd year of that lease, and the Birkie has been investing in the future of that property from the first day, as well as doing our due diligence to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s with the purchase.
We are nearing the completion of that due diligence process and nearing the date of execution of the purchase agreement. It has been an exciting year and a half, and we have a lot to be excited about for the future of the property and the future of the Telemark Village. All of those exciting opportunities will become facilities and activities for our Birkie community to enjoy. We cannot wait to tell you about all of those.
But, first let’s take a look at what has already happened these last 18 months: – We have revived approximately 5 km of ski trails, including iconic sections of the original World Cup Trail and Korte trail. If you have not skied them yet this year, you owe it to yourself to give them a go.
– We have already begun to build a competition venue on the property that can host many future events from local ski, running or MTB races all the way up to World Cup ski races.
– We have invested in almost 5km of manmade snow ski trails. This year, we were skiing on exceptional daily groomed snow from Thanksgiving week on, while the majority of the upper Midwest was still looking at exposed dirt. As we continue to expand our snowmaking capabilities, that early season snow will become something we can all count on.
– This fall the Birkie, along with the town of Cable, has applied for and received a grant from the WEDC to help tear down the dilapidated Telemark Lodge. Although we will still have to raise the balance of the money that job will require, we hope to have the old lodge removed by the summer.
– We sent out a survey to our entire community asking for feedback on what you would like to see at a revised future version of Telemark. We are overwhelmed with the more than 2500 responses we have received. The feedback will directly impact the master plan for the property.
– We have already begun to program the property with additional events like this past falls Birkie Trail Run or the first Telemark Ascent and the first privately held Telemark Descent.
Unlike previous plans that were announced for the Telemark property, the Birkie’s plan for the property is not based on an outsized lodge and questionable economics of a downhill ski area. The basis for the Birkie plan for the Telemark property is outdoor recreation trails and outdoor events. Ski trails, MTB trails, hiking trails, running trails, events, outdoor festivals, picnics, dog walks, etc. We are inspired to provide an incredible asset to the community based on outdoor recreation. We will stick with what we know as the core of the plan with the property.
We are already working on plans for more ski opportunities, more summer trail opportunities, dedicated MTB trails, sledding hills, ice skating, tubing, backcountry skiing, observation tower, festival grounds, a touring center and hub facility, etc.
We are inviting partner businesses into the community with us. We anticipate partnering with people who know their business and know that their businesses will be something that appeals to our dedicated outdoor recreation family. Alongside the incredible outdoor recreation assets, we see a future village of likeminded business partners at the Telemark Village.
It is our intention to build Telemark 2.0 much stronger and much more sustainable than it was in the past. In fact, our tagline around the project has been Sustainable Telemark. And we truly mean that. Telemark 2.0 will be sustainable as a business, as an outdoor recreation center, as a village and as a place to call home.
We hope you will join us in our excitement for what the new Telemark 2.0 and Telemark Village can be. If you would like more information about Telemark 2.0, please contact j[email protected]
Editor’s Note: Silent Sports Contributor Kierstin Kloeckner has a fabulous story in the February “Return of the Birkie Issue” in Silent Sports Magazine, that presents the history of Telemark leading to the next phase of the property, including the Lodge, with inside photos courtesy of the ABSF and Kubarek Auction Services. Not a subscriber? Check out https://silentsports.wpengine.com/2021/01/08/free-3-month-subscription-to-silent-sports-magazine/