Northland businesses hoping to make up for lost revenue during Polar Vortex

By KBJR News 1

January 8, 2014 Updated Jan 8, 2014 at 7:49 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- After dangerous wind chill temperatures forced ski hills across the Northland to shut down for a number of days, managers are happy to say their slopes are open once again.

In the interest of guest safety, at Spirit Mountain in Duluth, operations were closed Sunday through Tuesday, due to the extreme cold, which general managers say is a record setting closure for the resort.

"I don't recall a time we've ever been closed for three days in a row. Even two days in a row is very unusual," said Renee Mattson, executive director at Spirit Mountain.

With that closure, and the closure of other resorts around the region, hotels have suffered cancellations.

They hope the forecasted warm-up this weekend will bring more people to the slopes making up for the loss.

"We could use the reservations, so I'm hoping with the weather it'll bring more people into town," said Julie Kleven, general manager at Americas Best Value Inn.

And now that the cold snap is ending people are gearing up to hit the slopes.

"It's just, it's invigorating," said Heidi Jo Karlsson, the snow sports director at the resort.

"The early season snow we had, the continued snow fall, the fresh powder, the skiing conditions are just absolutely perfect. So anyone who's not out here enjoying the slopes is really missing something," said Mattson.

Karlsson says she is looking forward to a busy weekend filled with skiing, since the past few days on the slopes have been silent.

"It's going to be exciting. People, I think, are going to be excited to be back outside because they can," said Karlsson.

And other than this brief bitter cold snap, managers say...

"The snow conditions this year are just incredible," said Mattson.

Many events will be taking place at the resort this weekend and employees are encouraging Northlanders to get out in the elements to enjoy some family fun.

Elsa Robins
erobins@kbjr.com

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